1802 - 1880 Scripture: Luke 2:8-20 Translator of "O Come, All Ye Faithful " in The Presbyterian Hymnal Frederic Oakeley graduated M.A. at Oxford, and took Orders in the Church of England. He became Prebendary of Lichfield Cathedral, preacher at Whitehall, and incumbent of Margaret Chapel, London. He was active in the "Oxford Movement," and in 1845, called attention to his views for the purpose of seeing if he could continue to hold an Oxford degree, with so great a change in his opinions. The question was tried, and he was perpetually suspended unless he retracted. He then resigned his positions in the Church of England, and entered the Church of Rome, in which he became a Priest, and Canon of the diocese of Westminster. His publications are numerous, and some of them have considerable value.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872
Oakeley, Frederick, D.D., youngest son of Sir Charles Oakeley, Bart., sometime Governor of Madras, was born at Shrewsbury, Sept. 5, 1802, and educated at Christ Church, Oxford (B.A. 1824). In 1825 he gained a University prize for a Latin Essay; and in 1827 he was elected a Fellow of Balliol. Taking Holy Orders, he was a Prebendary of Lichfield Cathedral, 1832; Preacher at Whitehall, 1837; and Minister of Margaret Chapel, Margaret Street, London, 1839. In 1845 he resigned all his appointments in the Church of England, and was received into the Roman Communion. Subsequently he became a Canon of the Pro-Cathedral in the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical district of Westminster. He died January 29, 1880. Miller (Singers and Songs of the Church, 1869, p. 497), writing from information supplied to him by Canon Oakeley, says:—
”He traces the beginning of his change of view to the lectures of Dr. Charles Lloyd, Regius Professor, delivered at Oxford about the year 1827, on the 'History and Structure of the Anglican Prayer Book.' About that time a great demand arose at Oxford for Missals and Breviaries, and Canon Oakeley, sympathising with the movement, co-operated with the London booksellers in meeting that demand.....He promoted the [Oxford] movement, and continued to move with it till, in 1845, he thought it right to draw attention to his views, to gee if he could continue to hold an Oxford degree in conjunction with so great a change in opinion. The question having been raised, proceedings were taken against him in the Court of Arches, and a sentence given that he was perpetually suspended unless he retracted. He then resigned his Prebendal stall at Lichfield, and went over to the Church of Rome."
Canon Oakeley's poetical works included:—
(1) Devotions Commemorative of the Most Adorable Passion of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 1842; (2) The Catholic Florist; (3) The Youthful Martyrs of Rome, a Christian Drama, 1856; (4) Lyra Liturgica; Reflections in Verse for Holy Days and Seasons, 1865.
Canon Oakeley also published several prose works, including a translation of J. M. Horst's Paradise of the Christian Soul, London, Burns, 1850. He is widely known through his translation of the “Adeste fideles.” Several of his original hymns are also in Roman Catholic collections.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)