G. W. Briggs

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George Wallace Briggs (1875 – 30 December 1959) was an English hymn writer and Anglican clergyman.[1]

He was born in Nottingham, the son of George Briggs and Betsy Ann Hardstaff, and educated at Loughborough Grammar School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[2] He served as a padre in the Royal Navy (1902–1909) before becoming Vicar of St Andrew's Church, Norwich and in 1918 became Rector of All Saints Church, Loughborough. Between 1927 and 1934 he was Canon of Leicester Cathedral and from 1934 until his retirement in 1956 he served as Canon of Worcester Cathedral.

His most famous hymn is "God Has Spoken by His Prophets" as set to the tune written for Ode to Joy by Beethoven. He also wrote Loughborough Grammar School's school hymn "Our Father by whose servant(s)", which has also been adopted as a school hymn by other schools. The servant in LGS's case was Thomas Burton, and the "Five Hundred Years Enduring" verse 2 (originally "Four Hundred Years Enduring") is unique to the Loughborough Endowed Schools. On top of this he also wrote the college hymn for Loughborough College of Technology, which would later become Loughborough University.

Owing to his writing of their school hymn, there is a room within Loughborough Endowed Schools' Music School named after him.

He married Constance Emily T Barrow in 1909, and had five children: Margaret, Joan, David, Ruth, and Stephen.

List of hymns[edit]

  • A Call to the Free Nations
  • A Hymn of Freedom
  • Christ is the world's true Light
  • Come, risen Lord, and deign to be our guest
  • God Has Spoken by His Prophets
  • Humbly I Adore Thee
  • Lord of All Majesty and Might
  • Our Father by Whose Servant(s)
  • etc



  1. ^ BRIGGS, Rev. Canon George Wallace’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 21 Dec 2011
  2. ^ "Briggs, George Wallace (BRGS894GW)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 

External links[edit]

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Thomas Pitts
Rectors of All Saints' Church, Loughborough
Succeeded by
William John Lyon
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