Anne Steele was born at Broughton, Hampshire, in 1717. Her father was a timber merchant, and at the same time officiated as the lay pastor of the Baptist Society at Broughton. Her mother died when she was 3. At the age of 19 she became an invalid after injuring her hip. At the age of 21 she was engaged to be married but her fiance drowned the day of the wedding. On the occasion of his death she wrote the hymn "When I survey life's varied scenes." After the death of her fiance she assisted her father with his ministry and remained single. Despite her sufferings she maintained a cheerful attitude. She published a book of poetry Poems on subjects chiefly devotional in 1760 under the pseudonym "Theodosia." The remaining works were published a… Go to person page >
Dear Refuge of my [the] weary soul. Anne Steele. [God the Refuge.] First published in her Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional, 1760, vol. i. p. 144, in 8 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "God the only Refuge of the troubled mind" (2nd edition 1780), and in D. Sedgwick's reprint of her Hymns, 1863, p. 89. It was given also in the Bristol Baptist Collection of Ash & Evans, 1769, and in Bickersteth's ChristianPsalmody, 1833, and was thus brought into congrega¬tional use. It is included in numerous hymnals, both in Great Britain and America. In some collections, as the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Psalms & Hymns, 1853-69, it is given as, "Thou Refuge of my weary soul;" and again, as in Kennedy, 1863, "Thou Refuge of the weary soul."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)