William Chatterton Dix

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William Chatterton Dix
William Chatterton Dix.jpg
Born (1837-06-14)14 June 1837
Bristol, England
Died 9 September 1898(1898-09-09) (aged 61)
Cheddar, Somerset, England

William Chatterton Dix (14 June 1837 – 9 September 1898) was an English writer of hymns and carols. He was born in Bristol, the son of John Dix, a local surgeon, who wrote The Life of Chatterton the poet, a book of Pen Pictures of Popular English Preachers and other works.[1] His father gave him his middle name in honour of Thomas Chatterton, a poet about whom he had written a biography.[2] He was educated at the Grammar School, Bristol, for a mercantile career, and became manager of a maritime insurance company in Glasgow where he spent most of his life.[3]

Tomb in the churchyard of St Andrew's Church, Cheddar

Few modern writers have shown so signal a gift as his for the difficult art of hymn-writing.[3] His original hymns are found in most modern hymn-books.[1] He wrote also felicitous renderings in metrical form of Richard Frederick Littledale's translations from the Greek in his Offices of the Holy Eastern Church; and of Rodwell's translations of Abyssinain hymns.[3] Some of his carols, such as The Manger Throne, have been very popular.[3] His hymns and carols also include As with Gladness Men of Old, What Child Is This?, To You, O Lord, Our Hearts We Raise and Alleluia! Sing to Jesus.

At the age of 29 he was struck with a near fatal illness and consequently suffered months confined to his bed. During this time he became severely depressed. Yet it is from this period that many of his hymns date.[4][5] He died at Cheddar, Somerset, England, and was buried at his parish church.


  1. 1.0 1.1 James Moffatt, Handbook to the Church Hymnary, Oxford University Press, 1927
  2. Albert Edward Bailey, The Gospel in Hymns, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1950, p. 359
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 James Moffatt, Handbook to the Church Hymnary, Oxford University Press, 1927, p. 318
  4. Robert Guy McCutchan (1937) Our hymnody, a manual of the Methodist hymnal
  5. John Telford (1934) The new Methodist hymn-book illustrated in history and experience

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