Noel, Caroline Maria
b Teston nr Maidstone, Kent 1817, d Hyde Park, St Marylebone, Middx (London) 1877. She began her hymn-writing at the age of 17, producing a dozen or so texts before she was 20. Then for 20 more years she appears to have written nothing. The last 25 years of her life were spent in increasing illness; this prompted the title and some of the contents of her 1861 collection The Name of Jesus and other Verses for the Sick and Lonely. This was enlarged in future edns, and ‘for the sick and lonely’ dropped from its title; many of the verses are clearly for private use, with at least one glorious exception praised by various commentators as sturdy, objective, comprehensive, evangelical, monumental. A posthumous collection in 1878 comprised 78 texts. But its author is given a few lines only in the 2nd appendix to Julian. On a memorial tablet in Romsey Abbey, Hants (where her hymnwriting father was vicar, and she is named as his youngest daughter), as well as the reference Mark 8:22 are inscribed two stanzas of her poem ‘Thou didst lead a blind man/ In thine earthly days…Lead me now and always/ Even to the last/ In the way eternal/ And the darkness past,/ Till I read the story/ I was born to share;/ This the crowning glory,/ That my Lord is there’. A fuller and slightly different version is displayed in the church where she was buried. Her distinguished evangelical uncle Baptist Noel (1798–1873) was ordained as an Anglican, became a Baptist in 1848, and was twice President of the Baptist Union; he too wrote hymns. No.287.