Fanny Havergal

Frances Ridley Havergal (1836 - 1879)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Frances Ridley (Fanny) Havergal
Born in Astley, Worcestershire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Died in Swansea, Glamorgan, Walesmap
Profile last modified | Created 4 Jul 2018
This page has been accessed 53 times.

Categories: Poets | Hymn Writers | Songwriters | Unmarried | British Notables | Havergal Name Study | English Notables.


Fanny Havergal is Notable.

Frances Ridley "Fanny" Havergal was an English poet and hymnwriter. Take My Life and Let it Be is, undoubtedly, her best known hymn. She also wrote hymn melodies, religious tracts, and works for children. She did not occupy, and did not claim for herself, a prominent place as a poet, but by her distinct individuality, she carved out a niche which she alone could fill.

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Fanny was born on 14th December 1836 at Astley, Worcestershire, England. Her father, William Henry Havergal, was a clergyman, writer, composer, and hymnwriter. Her mother was Jane Head. Like their father, her brothers, Henry East Havergal and Francis Tebbs Havergal, were Church of England ministers.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Her father was appointed rector of St Nicholas', Worcestershire, when she was five years old. She wrote verses from the age of seven with remarkable fluency. In 1852 she accompanied her father and his second wife to Germany; studied for more than a year in the Louisenschule at Düsseldorf and in the family of a German pastor at Obercassel. On her return to England, she was confirmed in Worcester Cathedral, 17th July 1853. In 1860, she left Worcester upon her father resigning the Rectory of St Nicholas, and resided at different periods in Leamington, and at Caswell Bay, Swansea, broken by visits to Switzerland, Scotland, and North Wales. She led a quiet life, not enjoying consistent good health.

Take my voice, and let me sing,
Always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Her hymns praised the love of God, and His way of salvation to this end, and for this object, her whole life and all her powers were consecrated. She lived and spoke in every line of her poetry. Her religious views and theological bias were distinctly set forth in her poems, and may be described as mildly Calvinistic, without the severe dogmatic tenet of reprobation. The burden of her writings was a free and full salvation, through the Redeemer's merits, for every sinner who will receive it, and her life was devoted to the proclamation of this truth by personal labours, literary efforts, and earnest interest in foreign missions and the Church Missionary Society.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Frances' hymns were frequently printed as leaflets and as ornamental cards. They were gathered together from time to time and published:

  • Ministry of Song, 1869
  • Twelve Sacred Songs for Little Singers, 1870
  • Under the Surface, 1874
  • Loyal Responses, 1878
  • Life Mosaic, 1879
  • Life Chords, 1880, and
  • Life Echoes, 1883
Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Frances passed away from peritonitis, unmarried, on 3rd June 1879 at Gower Peninsula, Swansea, overlooking Caswell Bay, Glamorgan, Wales. She was just 42 years of age. On 9th June, her worn-out body was buried in the far western corner of the churchyard at St Peter's parish church, Astley, together with her father and near her sister, Maria Vernon Graham Havergal.[1]

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

Her sisters, Jane Crane, Maria Havergal and Ellen Shaw, saw much of her work published posthumously. Havergal College, a private girls' school in Toronto, is named after her.


  1. UK FreeBMD Death Index Jun qtr 1879, vol 11a, page 421

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

No known carriers of Fanny's ancestors' mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 2
Frances Ridley Havergal
Frances Ridley Havergal

Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-79)
Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-79)


Fanny is 37 degrees from Rosa Parks, 27 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 25 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

H  >  Havergal  >  Frances Ridley Havergal