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Joseph Medlicott Scriven
Birth: Sep. 10, 1819
Death: Aug. 10, 1886
Bewdley
Northumberland County
Ontario, Canada

Irish Poet. He is best known as the writer of the poem which became the hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus". He was born in 1819 of prosperous parents in Banbridge, Ireland. He was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. At the age of 25, he decided to leave his native country and migrate to Canada. His reasons for leaving his country seem to be two-fold: the religious influence of the Plymouth Brethren upon his life estranging him from his family. His fiancée accidentally drowned in 1845, the night before they were to be married. The grief-stricken young man moved to Canada. There he again fell in love, was due to be married and the young woman suddenly fell ill of pneumonia and died. He then devoted the rest of his life to helping others. In 1855, while staying with companion Mr. James Sackville, he received news from Ireland of his mother being terribly ill. He wrote a poem to comfort his mother called "Pray Without Ceasing". It was later set to music and renamed by Charles Crozat Converse, becoming the hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus". Joseph did not have any intentions nor dream that his poem would be for publication in the newspaper and later becoming a favorite hymn among the millions of Christians around the world. To this day, no one knows for sure if Joseph Scriven's death was an accident or a suicide. He was in a serious depression at the time. A friend reported, "We left him about midnight. I withdrew to an adjoining room, not to sleep, but to watch and wait. You may imagine my surprise and dismay when on visiting the room I found it empty. All search failed to find a trace of the missing man, until a little after noon the body was discovered in the water nearby, lifeless and cold in death." (bio courtesy of: Wikipedia) 
 
Burial:
Pengelley Family Cemetery
Pengelly Landing
Peterborough County
Ontario, Canada
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jul 09, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 10497
Joseph Medlicott Scriven
Added by: Manley Bennett
 
Joseph Medlicott Scriven
Added by: Greg Chard
 
Joseph Medlicott Scriven
Added by: Greg Chard
 
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- RacTx
 Added: Jan. 3, 2015

- Mike Caldwell
 Added: Sep. 10, 2013
Rest in peace Rev. Scriven. And Happy Birthday.
- Don MacBeth
 Added: Sep. 10, 2013
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