© National Portrait Gallery

July 15, 1814, Yateley, Hampshire, England.

January 2, 1878, Edgbaston, Warwickshire, England.

Rednal Roman Catholic Cemetery, Warwickshire, England.

Caswall’s father was Robert Clarke Caswall (Perpetual Curate of Yateley, and later Vicar of West Lavington, Wiltshire). His mother was a niece of Thomas Burgess, Bishop of St. David and later of Salisbury.

Caswall attended Chigwell Grammar School in Essex, Marlborough School, and Brasenose College, Oxford, where he graduated with honors in 1836. Before leaving Oxford, he published, under the pseudonym of Scriblerus Redivivus, The Art of Pluck, in imitation of Aristotle, a satire on the ways of the careless college student.

In 1838, Caswall was ordained a deacon, and 1839 an Anglican priest. In 1840 he became Perpetual curate at Stratford-sub-Castle near Salisbury. By 1847, though, he had switched to Roman Catholicism and went to the Oratory of St. Philip Neri at Edgbaston, where he did most of his hymn work. Caswall is best remembered as a translator of ancient hymns, though he also wrote original lyrics. His works include:

  1. Days and Moments Quickly Flying
  2. Gently Falls the Winter Snow
  3. Holy Anthem, The
  4. If There Be Any Special Thing
  5. See Amid the Winter’s Snow
  6. Sleep, Holy Babe
  1. Above the Starry Spheres
  2. All Ye Who Seek a Certain Cure
  3. An Exile for the Faith
  4. At the Cross, Her Station Keeping
  5. Bethlehem, of Noblest Cities
  6. Come Hither, Ye Faithful
  7. Come, O Creator Spirit Blest
  8. Come, Thou Holy Spirit, Come
  9. Dawn Is Sprinkling in the East, The
  10. Glory Be to Jesus
  11. Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding
  12. He Who Once in Righteous Vengeance
  13. Holy Spirit, Lord of Light
  14. I Met the Good Shepherd
  15. Jesu, Thy Mercies Are Untold
  16. Jesus, Brightness of the Father
  17. Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee
  18. Let Alverna’s Holy Mountain
  19. Life Which God’s Incarnate Word, The
  20. My God, I Love Thee
  21. Now, My Tongue, the Mystery Telling
  22. Now with the Rising Golden Dawn
  23. O Hope of Every Contrite Heart
  24. O Jesu, Thou the Beauty Art
  25. O Jesus, King Most Wonderful
  26. O Saving Victim, Open Wide
  27. O Zion, Open Wide Thy Gates
  28. O’erwhelmed in Depths of Woe
  29. Sing, My Tongue, the Savior’s Glory
  30. Son of the Highest, Deign to Cast
  31. Sun Is Sinking Fast, The
  32. To Christ, the Prince of Peace
  33. When Morning Gilds the Skies