Henry Francis Lyte (June 1, 1793 - November 20, 1847) was an Anglican divine and hymn-writer. He was born to Thomas and Anna Lyte on a farm at Ednam, near Kelso, Scotland. Thomas Lyte deserted the family shortly after making arrangements for his two oldest sons to attend Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. Anna moved to London, where both she and her youngest son soon died.
The headmaster at Portora, Dr. Burrowes, recognized Henry Lyte's ability, paid the boy?s fees, and "welcomed him into his own family during the holidays. Lyte was effectively an adopted son, and he never forgot Burrowes' generosity and compassion.
Lyte then studied at Trinity College, Dublin. He took Anglican holy orders in 1815, and for some time held a curacy in Taghmon near Wexford. In 1817 he was a curate in Cornwall married to Anne Maxwell, who came from Monaghan in Ireland. They had two daughters and three sons, one of whom was the chemist and photographer Farnham Maxwell-Lyte, born on 10 January 1828 in Brixham. Because of bad health Lyte moved to England, and after several changes settled, in 1823, in the parish of Lower Brixham, a fishing village in Devon where he helped educate Lord Salisbury, later British prime minister.
In poor health throughout his life, he developed consumption. He visited continental Europe often and continued to write, mainly religious poetry and hymns. While in Brixham, Lyte wrote his most famous hymns. Three of the best known are paraphrases of psalms, taken from Lyte?s book, The Spirit of the Psalms (1834). ?Praise, my soul, the King of heaven? is Lyte?s version of Psalm 103; ?God of Mercy, God of Grace? is based on Psalm 67; and ?Pleasant are thy courts above? is a paraphrase of Psalm 84. In 1844 Lyte's health finally gave way. After his last service, he penned his most famous hymn Abide With Me after watching the sun set over Torbay. Lyte died just two weeks later in 1847 in Nice, southern France, and was buried there. Text source : Wikipedia (Hide extended text) ... (Read all)