Sabine Baring-Gould

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The Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould (28 January 1834 - 2 January 1924) was an English hagiographer, antiquarian, novelist and eclectic scholar. His bibliography lists more than 1240 separate publications, though this list continues to grow. His family home, Lew Trenchard Manor near Okehampton, Devon, has been preserved as he rebuilt it and is now a hotel. He is remembered particularly as a writer of hymns, the best-known being "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and "Now the Day Is Over". He also translated the carol "Gabriel's Message" from Basque to English.



Sabine Baring-Gould was born in the parish of St Sidwell, Exeter on 28 January 1834 - the eldest son of Edward Baring-Gould and his first wife Sophia Charlotte née Bond. He was named after an uncle, the Arctic explorer Sir Edward Sabine.[1] Because the family spent much of his childhood travelling round Europe, his education was mostly conducted by private tutors. He spent a period of about two years in formal schooling, first at King's College School in London (then located in Somerset House) and then, for a few months, at Warwick Grammar School (now Warwick School). Here his time was cut short by a bronchial attack of the kind that was to plague him throughout his long life. His father saw his ill-health as a good reason for another European tour.

In 1852 he was admitted to Cambridge University, earning the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in 1857, then Master of Arts in 1860 from Clare College, Cambridge.[2] In 1864, he became the curate at Horbury Bridge, West Riding of Yorkshire. It was while acting as a curate that he met and fell in love with Grace Taylor, the 16-year-old daughter of a mill hand. His vicar arranged for Grace to live for two years with relatives in York to learn middle class manners. Sabine, meanwhile, moved to become perpetual curate at Dalton, Near Thirsk. He and Grace were married in 1868 at Wakefield.[3] [4] Their marriage lasted until her death 48 years later, and the couple had 15 children, all but one of whom lived to adulthood. When he buried his wife in 1916 he had carved on her tombstone the Latin motto Dimidium Animae Meae ("Half my Soul").

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