1814 - 1878 Transaltor of "Jesus, the very thought of Thee" in Hymns of the Kingdom of God Edward Caswall was born in 1814, at Yately, in Hampshire, where his father was a clergyman. In 1832, he went to Brasenose College, Oxford, and in 1836, took a second-class in classics. His humorous work, "The Art of Pluck," was published in 1835; it is still selling at Oxford, having passed through many editions. In 1838, he was ordained Deacon, and in 1839, Priest. He became perpetural Curate of Stratford-sub-Castle in 1840. In 1841, he resigned his incumbency and visited Ireland. In 1847, he joined the Church of Rome. In 1850, he was admitted into the Congregation of the Oratory at Birmingham, where he has since remained. He has published several works in prose and poetry.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A. 1872
Caswall, Edward, M.A., son of the Rev. R. C. Caswall, sometime Vicar of Yately, Hampshire, born at Yately, July 15, 1814, and educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, graduating in honours in 1836. Taking Holy Orders in 1838, he became in 1840 Incumbent of Stratford-sub-Castle, near Salisbury, and resigned the same in 1847. In 1850 (Mrs. Caswall having died in 1849) he was received into the Roman Catholic communion, and joined Dr. Newman at the Oratory, Edgbaston. His life thenceforth, although void of stirring incidents, was marked by earnest devotion to his clerical duties and a loving interest in the poor, the sick, and in little children. His original poems and hymns were mostly written at the Oratory. He died at Edgbaston, Jan. 2, 1878, and was buried on Jan. 7 at Redwall, near Bromsgrove, by his leader and friend Cardinal Newman. Caswall's translations of Latin hymns from the Roman Breviary and other sources have a wider circulation in modern hymnals than those of any other translator, Dr. Neale alone excepted. This is owing to his general faithfulness to the originals, and the purity of his rhythm, the latter feature specially adapting his hymns to music, and for congregational purposes. His original compositions, although marked by considerable poetical ability, are not extensive in their use, their doctrinal teaching being against their general adoption outside the Roman communion. His hymns appeared in:—
(1) Lyra Catholica, which contained 197 translations from the Roman Breviary, Missal, and other sources. First ed. London, James Burns, 1849. This was reprinted in New York in 1851, with several hymns from other sources added thereto. This edition is quoted in the indices to some American hymn-books as Lyra Cath., as in Beecher's Plymouth Collection, 1855, and others.
(2) Masque of Mary, and Other Poems, having in addition to the opening poem and a few miscellaneous pieces, 53 translations, and 51 hymns. 1st ed. Lon., Burns and Lambert, 1858.
(3) A May Pageant and Other Poems, including 10 original hymns. Lon., Burns and Lambert, 1865.
(4) Hymns and Poems, being the three preceding volumes embodied in one, with many of the hymns rewritten or revised, together with elaborate indices. 1st ed. Lon., Burns, Oates & Co., 1873. Of his original hymns about 20 are given in the Roman Catholic Crown of Jesus Hymn Book, N.D; there are also several in the Hymns for the Year, N.D., and other Roman Catholic collections.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Caswall, E. , p. 214, ii. Additional original hymns by Caswall are in the Arundel Hymns, 1902, and other collections. The following are from the Masque of Mary, &c, 1858:—
1. Christian soul, dost thou desire. After Holy Communion.
2. Come, let me for a moment cast. Holy Communion.
3. O Jesu Christ [Lord], remember. Holy Communion.
4. Oft, my soul, thyself remind. Man's Chief End.
5. Sleep, Holy Babe. Christmas. Appeared in the Rambler, June 1850, p. 528. Sometimes given as "Sleep, Jesus, sleep."
6. The glory of summer. Autumn.
7. This is the image of the queen. B. V. M.
His "See! amid the winter's snow,” p. 1037, i., was published in Easy Hymn Tunes, 1851, p. 36. In addition the following, mainly altered texts or centos of his translations are also in common use:—
1. A regal throne, for Christ's dear sake. From "Riches and regal throne," p. 870, ii.
2. Come, Holy Ghost, Thy grace inspire. From "Spirit of grace and union," p. 945, i.
3. Hail! ocean star, p. 99, ii,, as 1873. In the Birmingham Oratory Hymn Book, 1850, p. 158.
4. Lovely flow'rs of martyrs, hail. This is the 1849 text. His 1873 text is "Flowers of martyrdom," p. 947, i.
5. None of all the noble cities. From "Bethlehem! of noblest cities," p. 946, ii.
6. O Jesu, Saviour of the World. From “Jesu, Redeemer of the world," p. 228, ii.
7. 0 Lady, high in glory raised. From "O Lady, high in glory, Whose," p. 945, i.
The Parochial Hymn Book, 1880, has also the following original hymns by Caswall. As their use is confined to this collection, we give the numbers only:—
IS os. 1, 2, 3, 159 (Poems, 1873, p. 453), 209 (1873, p. 288), 299, 324 (1873, p. 323), 357, 402, 554, 555, 558, 569 (1873, p. 334). These are from his Masque of Mary 1858. Nos. 156, 207 (1873, p. 296), 208 (1873, p. 297), 518. These are from his May Pageant, 1865.
As several of these hymns do not begin with the original first lines, the original texts are indicated as found in his Poems, 1873. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)