© National Portrait Gallery

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

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

Son of Richard Pennefather, Baron of the Irish Court of Exchequer, William 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. His wife was hymnist Catherine Pennefather.

  1. And May I Really Tread
  2. Help Us, O Lord, to Praise
  3. How Shall We Praise Thy Name
  4. Jesus, in Thy Blest Name
  5. Jesus, Stand Among Us
  6. My Blessed Jesus, Thou Hast Taught
  7. O God of Glorious Majesty
  8. O Haste Thy Coming Kingdom
  9. O Holy, Holy Father
  10. O Lord, with One Accord
  11. O Savior! We Adore Thee
  12. Once More with Chastened Joy
  13. Praise God, Ye Seraphs Bright
  14. Thousands and Thousands Stand
  15. Yon Shining Shore Is Nearer

Pennefather’s burial place