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Alexander, Cecil Frances Humphreys (April 1818-2th October 1895)

She was a hymn writer and poetess born in Redcross, County Wicklow, Ireland, who started to write poetry as a child and by the 1840s she was known as a hymn writer whose works appeared in the Church of Ireland hymnbooks.

She married William Alexander in 1850, an Anglican bishop of Derry and Raphoe and later the Anglican primate of Ireland.  Often working with children she set up Londonderry’s Girl’s Friendly Society and with her sister she founded a school for the deaf.

She traveled with her husband throughout Ireland and during that time wrote in the region of 400 poems and hymns which appeared in publications that include The Legend of the Golden Prayer and Hymns for Little Children. Her involvement in children’s charity work led her to donate the profits from Hymns for Little Children to the Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Institute Institution for the Deaf and Dumb.

She is possibly best known for “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, “Once in Royal David’s City” and “There is a Green Hill Far Away”.

She died in October 1895 when she was 77 years old.

Once in Royal David’s City recordings
The Bach Choir and members of The Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
London 417 898-2 (CD: O Come All Ye Faithful)
Organ – John Scott
Conductor – Sir David Willcocks

BBC Welsh Chorus
Nimbus NI5310 (CD: Celebration: Christmas Fanfares & Carols)
Conductor – John Hugh Thomas
Organ -Huw Tregelles WilliamsBlack Dyke Mills Band
Arranger – Sir David Willcocks

Cathedral Symphony Orchestra,
MHS 512240T
New York Vocal Consort and the American Boychoir
Conductor –  James Litton

Choir of Canterbury Cathedral
Conifer CDCF 160
Conductor – Dr. Allan Wicks
Organ – Michael Harris

Choir of Keble College
Priory PRCD 708 (CD: The Complete New English Hymnal, Vol. 8)
Conductor  Gavin Plumley
Organ –  Mark Laflin

Choir of St. Thomas Church
Pro Organo 7200 (CD: Christmas on Fifth Avenue)

Clare College Singers and Orchestra
EMI 69950 (CD: Carols from Clare)
Conductor – John Rutter

Arturo Delmoni and Nina Bodnar
JMR 18 (CD: A String Quartet Christmas, Volume 2)
Violin – Arturo Delmoni
Violin – Nine Bodnar

King’s College Choir, Cambridge
EMI 66241 (CD: Christmas Carols from King’s College, Cambridge)
Conductor – Sir David Willcocks

King’s College Choir, Cambridge
London 444 848 (CD: Noel- Christmas at King’s)
Conductor – Sir David Willcocks

Musicians of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
North Star NS0035 (CD: And The Angels Sing)