Cousin, Anne Ross


(née Cundell), b Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorks 1824, d Edinburgh 1906. A gifted musician and linguist, she was the daughter of a Episcopalian doctor, who in 1847 became a Free Ch minister’s wife, first in Melrose in the Scottish Borders and then at Irvine nr Kilmarnock. A keen student of the work of Samuel Rutherford (qv), she has been dubbed ‘a Scottish Christina Rossetti with a more pronounced Theology’—quoted by Cliff Knight. Writing in Julian, James Mearns (of Whitchurch, Reading, and the Dictionary’s asst editor) calls many of her 107 or so hymns ‘very beautiful’ but adds that some are meditations rather than congregational texts. Others have repeated that judgement; contemporaries testified to her ‘deep piety and gracious character’. Some of her work appeared in The Christian Treasury in 1857, and in Immanuel’s Land and Other Pieces. The latter was credited in 1876 simply to ‘A.R.C.’ and contained 114 items including a tribute to Sir John Simpson, the pioneer of chloroform; a ‘New and Revised Edition’ (undated, but 1880 or later), this time by ‘A.R.Cousin’, omitted this and other more personal pieces. A fine piece on Naomi (‘Call me not Naomi, call me Mara!’) is headed ‘Reverses’; Some books shorten her most noted hymn by starting at stz 3; still relatively new, it was also the last one announced by C H Spurgeon just before his death in Mentone. Another striking text full of ‘thee/me’ contrasts is O Christ, what burdens bowed thy head. No.909.

Hymns and songs by Cousin, Anne Ross

Number Hymn Name
909 The sands of time are sinking