May 1716, Broughton, Hampshire, England.
November 11, 1778, Broughton, Hampshire, England.
Saint Mary’s churchyard, Broughton, Hampshire, England.
Anne was the daughter of William Steele, a timber merchant who was also a lay preacher at the Baptist church in Broughton. She lost her mother at age 3.
At age 19, a severe hip injury made her a lifelong invalid. At age 21, her fiancé drowned the day before they were to be married.
From this series of tragedies rose 144 hymns and 34 versified Psalms, which were enormously popular. Her main work was Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional (1760). When Trinity Church in Boston, Massachusetts (where Phillips Brooks was later rector) published its hymnal in 1808, 59 of its 144 hymns were from the pen of Anne Steele.
She preferred to remain anonymous, though, writing under a pen name. Her tombstone carried these words:
Silent the lyre, and dumb the tuneful tongue,
That sung on earth her great Redeemer’s praise;
But now in Heaven she joins the angelic song,
In more harmonious, more exalted lays.
where to get Steele’s picture