Scriven, Joseph Medlicott


b Seapatrick, Co Down, Ireland 1819, d Bewdley, Rice Lake, Ontario, Canada 1886. Trinity Coll Dublin, 1835; a member of the Christian (Plymouth) Brethren, he cut short his studies to enlist in the army and train at the Addiscombe Military Coll in Surrey, but poor health compelled him to leave; he returned to complete his BA in 1842 before moving permanently to Canada 2 years later. There he became a schoolteacher and private tutor at Woodstock and Brantford, near Bewdley, occupied also in voluntary social work including help for disabled people, and giving away much of his income. He was twice engaged to be married, on each occasion the bride-to-be died prematurely, one by drowning and the other from TB. He found lasting friendship with a naval family, the Pengelleys and Sackvilles, but physical and financial distress hastened depression in his later years. Fearful of becoming a burden to others, his own death by drowning was thought by some to be suicide, though this was never established. Stories have tended to multiply around his life and his hymn, and in 1910 a monument was erected beside the lake some 10 miles north of Port Hope, Ontario. His Hymns and other Verses appeared in 1869, one of them ensuring his enduring influence. No.614.

Hymns and songs by Scriven, Joseph Medlicott

Number Hymn Name
614 What a friend we have in Jesus