Littledale, Richard Frederick


b Dublin 1833, d Bloomsbury, C London 1890. Bective House Seminary and Trinity Coll, Dublin (BA 1855, LL.D 1862); Oxford DCL, 1862. Ordained in 1856, he served contrasting curacies at Thorpe Hamlet nr Norwich, Norfolk, and Soho in C London. But he was obliged to leave the parochial ministry for health reasons, devoting himself to academic study and authorship which included much liturgical and hymnological work. Among some 50 books from this convinced Anglo-catholic were the influential Plain Reasons for not joining the Church of Rome (1880). He made translations into English from 7 other languages, completed a Commentary on the Psalms left unfinished by J M Neale at his death, and compiled Carols for Christmas and Other Seasons (1863) and The People’s Hymnal of 1867. He used at least 9 different sets of initials to disguise his own authorship; in praising his diction, metres, rhythm, earnestness, and (in translation) faithfulness to his originals, Julian concludes, ‘His main object throughout is to teach through Praise and Prayer’. As with several other authors, one single achievement of his has outdistanced and outlived the entire remainder of his output and would now be considered indispensable. No.518.

Hymns and songs by Littledale, Richard Frederick

Number Hymn Name
518 Come down, O Love Divine