So far in 2023, 13 million people from 200-plus countries around the world have benefitted from the Hymnary website! Thank you to all who use and all who support it with gifts of time, talent and treasure. If you feel moved to support our work today with a gift of any amount and a word of encouragement, we would be grateful. You can donate online at our secure giving site. Or, if you'd like to make a gift by check, please send it to:, Calvin University, 3201 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. May the hope, love, joy and peace of Advent be yours this day and always.

Your donation:

John Byrom

John Byrom
Portrait of Byrom as a young man
Short Name: John Byrom
Full Name: Byrom, John, 1692-1763
Birth Year: 1692
Death Year: 1763

John Byrom was born in 1691, at Manchester, where his father was a linen-draper. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, 1708; became a Fellow of the College in 1714; took his M.A. in 1716, and then proceeded to Montpelier, where he studied medicine. He afterwards abandoned medicine, settled in London, and obtained his living by teaching a system of shorthand, which he had projected. He was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1724. He died Sept. 28, 1763. The first edition of Byrom's poems appeared in 1773, in two volumes. A more complete edition was published in 1814. Byrom did not seek publicity as an author, but wrote verses only for recreation.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872


Byrom, John, M.A., F.R.S., born at Manchester, Feb. 29,1691-2, baptized the same day, and educated at Merchant Taylors' School, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. 1712 ; M.A. 1715. He was elected a Fellow of his College in 1714. After studying medicine for a time at Montpellier, he returned to London, and earned his livelihood by teaching shorthand. Elected F.R.S. in 1724, and succeeded to the family estates about the same time. He died Sept. 28, 1763. His Poems were first published in 1773, in two volumes. In 1814 a more complete edition was issued by Nichols, of Leeds. From these Poems less than half a dozen hymns have come into common use. One of these, however, has a repu¬tation which has extended to all English-speaking countries. We refer to his "Christians, awake!" (q.v.). His hymn, "My spirit longeth for Thee," is also worthy of attention.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Wikipedia Biography

John Byrom or John Byrom of Kersal or John Byrom of Manchester FRS (29 February 1692 – 26 September 1763) was an English poet, the inventor of a revolutionary system of shorthand and later a significant landowner. He is most remembered as the writer of the lyrics of Anglican hymn "Christians, awake, salute the happy morn", which was supposedly a Christmas gift for his daughter.

Data Sources

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us