October 27, 1845, Zhoushan Island (south of Shanghai), Zhejiang, China.

May 2, 1926, Hendon, Middlesex, England.

Canton’s childhood was spent mostly in Jamaica. He studied for the priesthood at Douai and later in Paris, but eventually abandoned the priesthood to become a teacher and writer. He later left the Roman Catholic Church for Protestantism. He worked as a journalist in London and Glasgow, where he became editor of the Glasgow Weekly Herald and later a leader-writer for the Glasgow Herald.

In 1891, Canton moved to London, where he worked for the publisher Isbister, later becoming editor of the Sunday Review and the Sunday Magazine. He also contributed articles and poems to Good Words.

In 1901, Canton’s daughter Winifred died at age 10. He resigned from Isbister and took up an offer to write the official history of the Bible Society, which he hoped would comfort him. The nine volume work took five years to complete.

Canton completed his history in 1910, after which he devoted himself to children’s literature and historical works. His works include:

  1. Hold Thou My Hands!
  2. Through the Night Thy Angels Kept
  3. When the Herds Were Watching