John Lyth

Short Name: John Lyth
Full Name: Lyth, John, 1821-1886
Birth Year: 1821
Death Year: 1886

Lyth, John, D.D., was born at York, March 13, 1821. In 1843 he entered the Wesleyan ministry, and was sent in 1859 to Winnenden, as the first Wesleyan minister to Germany. On his return from Germany in 1865, he entered upon regular circuit work in Great Britain, and laboured at Sheffield, Hull, and other large towns until 1883, when he retired from the active work of the ministry. He died on March 13, 1886. His principal prose work was a History of Methodism in York. In 1843 he edited and published a small volume, entitled Wild Flowers; or, a Selection of Original Poetry, edited by J. L. This little work was made up of pieces by himself and members of his family, and the late Dr. Punshon. His hymn, "There is a better world, they say" (Heaven), appeared in the Methodist Scholars' Hymn Book, 1870; and his "We won't give up the Sabbath" (Sunday), in the Methodist Sunday School Hymn Book, 1879. Each of these is an imitation of an older hymn. Dr. Lyth informed the Rev. W. F. Stevenson, editor of Hymns for Church and Home, 1873, that the hymn "There is a better world, they say," was written at Stroud, in Gloucestershire (30th April, 1845) for the anniversary of the neighbouring infant-school at Randwich, and to an air then very popular, called 'All is Well.' That it was written for infant children will explain the simplicity of some of the expressions. It was speedily caught up, and I believe first appeared in the Home and School Hymn Book.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


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