© National Portrait Gallery

Born: Feb­ru­a­ry 5, 1816, Mer­ri­on Square, Dub­lin, Ire­la­nd.

Died: Ap­ril 30, 1873, Mus­well Hill, Lon­don, Eng­land.


William was the son of Ri­chard Pen­ne­fa­ther, Bar­on of the Ir­ish Court of Ex­che­quer, and hus­band of hym­nist Ca­ther­ine Pen­ne­fa­ther.

He lived for a while (for ed­u­ca­tion­al pur­pos­es) at Wes­bury Col­lege, near Bris­tol; then at Le­vans par­son­age, near Ken­dal, West­more­land. He en­tered Tri­ni­ty Col­lege in Dub­lin in Feb­ru­a­ry 1832, and grad­u­at­ed BA in 1840.

Taking Ho­ly Or­ders in 1841, he be­came cur­ate of Bal­ly­ma­cugh, di­o­cese of Kil­more. In July 1844, he be­came vic­ar at Mel­li­font, near Dro­ghe­da. In 1848 he moved to Eng­land, where he was suc­cess­ive­ly In­cum­bent of Tri­ni­ty Church, Wal­ton, Ayles­bu­ry (1848); Christ Church, Bar­net (1852); and St. Jude’s, Mild­may Park (1864).

He was well known for the con­fer­enc­es he be­gan at Bar­net and con­tin­ued at Mild­may, and for re­li­gious and char­it­a­ble or­gan­iz­a­tions he found­ed.

He wrote his hymns main­ly for the Bar­net and Mild­may con­fer­enc­es. Some were pub­lished in pam­phlet form as Hymns Orig­in­al and Se­lect­ed, by W. P., 1872. Oth­ers ap­peared, most­ly un­dat­ed, in the post­hu­mous Orig­in­al Hymns and Thoughts in Verse, 1873.



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