Born: De­cem­ber 21, 1808, Ma­de­ley, Shrop­shire, Eng­land.

Christened: Jan­ua­ry 21, 1809, Ma­de­ley, Shrop­shire, Eng­land.

Died: Feb­ru­ary 29, 1836, Tor­quay, Eng­land.


Anstice at­tend­ed En­more, near Bridg­wa­ter, West­min­ster, and Christ Church Col­lege, Ox­ford, where he won two priz­es in Eng­lish and gra­du­at­ed as a dou­ble first.

At age 22, he be­came Pro­fess­or of Class­i­cal Li­te­ra­ture at King’s Col­lege, Lon­don.

Anstice’s hymns were pub­lished post­hu­mous­ly as Hymns by the late Jo­seph An­stice, M.A., for­mer­ly Stu­dent of Christ Church, Ox­ford, and Pro­fess­or of Class­ic­al Li­te­ra­ture, Ox­ford, and Pro­fess­or of Class­ic­al Li­ter­a­ture, King’s Col­lege, Lon­don (Bridg­water: 1836), with this in­tro­duct­ion:

As none of the fol­low­ing Hymns had the ad­van­tage of be­ing cor­rect­ed and pre­pared for the press by their la­ment­ed Au­thor, his fa­mi­ly have not con­sid­ered them­selves at liberty to bring them be­fore the pub­lic; but, hav­ing rea­son to be­lieve that a large cir­cle of sur­viv­ing friends will be gra­ti­fied by pos­ses­sing a me­mo­ri­al of the man­ner in which some of his lei­sure hours were em­ployed, and of the sub­jects which chief­ly oc­cu­pied his thoughts, dur­ing the last few months of his life, they have con­sent­ed to their be­ing print­ed for pr­ivate dis­tr­ib­ution. Bridg­wa­ter, June, 1836.

The work con­tains 52 hymns, and a po­em To My Hymn Book. The cir­cum­stanc­es un­der which An­stice wrote the hymns were out­lined in a let­ter from Mrs. An­stice to Jo­si­ah Mil­ler, au­thor of Sing­ers and Songs of the Church:

The hymns were all dic­tat­ed to his wife dur­ing the last few weeks of his life, and were com­posed just at the pe­ri­od of the day (the af­ter­noon) when he felt the op­press­ion of his ill­ness—all his bright­er morn­ing hours be­ing giv­en to pu­pils up to the ve­ry day of his death.




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