Smetham, James, son of a Wesleyan minister, born at Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire, Sept. 9, 1821, and for some time teacher of drawing at the Wesleyan Normal College, Westminster. Failing to command success as a painter, his mind gave way in 1877, and he died Feb. 5, 1889. His Letters were published in 1891, and The Literary Works of James Smetham, 1893. His hymn "While ebbing nature grieves" (Old Age) is unworthy of the position given to it in the Methodist Hymn Book, 1904.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)
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