Jessie Seymour Irvine

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Jessie Seymour Irvine (1836 – 1887) was the daughter of a Church of Scotland parish minister who served at Dunottar, Peterhead, and Crimond in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. She is referred to by Ian Campbell Bradley in his 1997 book Abide with Me: The World of Victorian Hymns as standing "in a strong Scottish tradition of talented amateurs ... who tended to produce metrical psalm tunes rather than the dedicated hymn tunes increasingly composed in England".


Among her compositions was the tune Crimond, which is best known as one setting for the words of Psalm 23: "The Lord's my shepherd". It is believed that Irvine wrote the tune while still in her teens, as an exercise for an organ class she was attending.[1]

The tune first appeared in The Northern Psalter (c.1872) where it was credited to one David Grant. It was subsequently revealed, however, that Grant had only arranged and not composed the tune, and the 1929 Scottish Psalter credits Irvine. The controversy is discussed in Ronald Johnson's article: "How far is it to Crimond?"[2] and Jack Webster's column in the Glasgow Herald.[3]

Irvine is buried in St Machar's Cathedral in Aberdeen.[4]


  1. ^ Ian Campbell Bradley "Abide with Me". Retrieved 2011-12-07.
  2. ^ Hymn Society Bulletin, No 176, July 1988, page 38
  3. ^ Glasgow Herald, 17 September 1991
  4. ^ Irvine at[dead link]

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