Albert Midlane

Albert Midlane (23 January 1825 – 27 February 1909) was a British poet who wrote several hundred hymns, most notably "There's a Friend for Little Children".[1]

Albert Midlane
Albert Midlane


Midlane was born in Carisbrooke, a village in Newport on the Isle of Wight, into a large family. He was the youngest child of James Midlane (who died in October 1824) and Frances Lawes. His mother, Frances, was a Congregationalist, and Midlane attended the church Sunday school from a young age. He first became an ironmonger, and later a Sunday school teacher.[1] At the age of 23 he joined the Plymouth Brethren, but remained committed to Sunday school teaching and hymn writing. He was encouraged to start writing at a young age by his teacher, and he wrote his first hymn "Hark! in the presence of our God" in September 1842 while visiting Carisbrooke Castle;[2] it was published in Youth's Magazine in November 1842 under the name of "Little Albert".[1] His first hymn which brought his eventual fame was "God bless our Sunday schools", written on 24 May 1844, and used the National Anthem as its tune.[3]

His most notable hymn, "There's a Friend for Little Children", was written on 7 February 1859 and published in December 1859 in a book called Good News for the Little Ones. Its tune was composed by Sir John Stainer, and is called "In Memoriam". It was composed for the hymn's appearance in a book entitled Hymns Ancient and Modern, published in 1868.[4] Midlane wrote over 700 hymns altogether,[1] though none had the success that "There's a Friend for Little Children" did;[5] it has been translated into around a dozen languages.[1] He later published several of his own hymn books, including Jewish Children's Hymn Book, Bright Blue Sky Hymn Book, Gospel Echoes Hymn Book and The Gospel Hall Hymn Book, each of which contained hundreds of his hymns.[2]

Midlane married Miriam Grainger on 20 March 1851 and they had three children, two sons and one daughter.[2] He never accepted any money for his writing, and as such became bankrupt. Generosity from his fans meant that this was later revoked. He died of a seizure at his home of Forest Villa on South Mall, Newport, Isle of Wight on 27 February 1909, aged 84.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Midlane, Albert (1825–1909)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "Biography of Albert Midlane, 1825-1909 (Spiritual Songsters)". STEM Publishing. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  3. ^ Jones, p.268
  4. ^ Mable, p.134
  5. ^ Mable, p.132


  • Jones, Francis Arthur (2008). Famous Hymns and Their Authors. Read Books. ISBN 1-4086-4552-1.
  • Mable, Norman (2007). Popular Hymns and Their Writers. Read Books. ISBN 1-4067-4577-4.
Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight (; also referred to informally as The Island or abbreviated to IoW) is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, and Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event ever held. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

The isle was owned by a Norman family until 1293 and was earlier a kingdom in its own right. In common with the Crown dependencies, the British Crown was then represented on the island by the Governor of the Isle of Wight until 1995. The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, and been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Historically part of Hampshire, the island became a separate administrative county in 1890. It continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. Apart from a shared police force, there is now no administrative link with Hampshire, although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed.The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea; three vehicle ferry and two catamaran services cross the Solent to Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.

James McGranahan

James McGranahan was a nineteenth-century American musician and composer, most known for his various hymns. He was born 4 July 1840, in West Fallowfield or Adamsville, Pennsylvania, and died 9 July 1907 at his home in Kinsman, Ohio.He composed over 25 hymns. For example, in one work he is listed as the composer of three notable songs: "He Will Hide Me" by Mary Elizabeth Servoss, "Revive Thy Work, O Lord" by Albert Midlane, and "Come" by a "Mrs. James Gibson Johnson"; and he composed the music for at least 39 of the 79 hymns in a work co-authored with Ira D. Sankey. McGranahan composed most of the tunes for the lyrics of Major Daniel Webster Whittle, including EL NATHAN, the tune associated with Whittle's "I Know Whom I Have Believèd" (written 1883).

The music of his hymn "My Redeemer," written for lyrics by P. P. Bliss, is used as the accompaniment for the Latter-day Saints hymn "O My Father."In Hawaii, McGranahan is noted for writing the music to the hymn "I Left It All With Jesus," which, when joined to the words "Hawaii Aloha" by the Rev. Lorenzo Lyons (an early missionary to Hawaii) became one of Hawaii's best known and best loved songs. In Hawaii the tune is called Hawaii Aloha and the words were penned by Lorenzo Lyons, a minister. Lyons was known as "Makua Laiana" or simply "Laiana." The song is often sung at the close of public political, spiritual, educational and sporting events.

List of hymns composed by Ira D. Sankey

During the last three decades of the 19th century, Ira D. Sankey partnered Dwight Moody in a series of religious revivalist campaigns, mainly in North America and Europe. Moody preached, Sankey sang; as part of his musical ministry, Sankey collected hymns and songs, and in 1873 published in England the original edition of Sacred Songs and Solos, a short collection of 24 pages containing some of the favourite hymns that Sankey had introduced during the first Moody and Sankey evangelistic tour of Britain, in 1873–1875. Over the following years new, expanded editions of Sacred Songs were produced, containing many standard hymns as well as revivalist songs, the final edition from the 1900s containing 1,200 pieces. Sankey wrote the words for very few of these, but he composed and/or arranged new tunes for many of the hymns in the collection, particular for those written by Fanny Crosby. The following lists contains all the hymns composed by Sankey that are found in the "1200" edition of Sacred Songs and Solos. Many of these hymns are also found in the six-volume collection, Gospel Hymns and Sacred Songs, which Sankey edited with Philip Bliss and others, which was published in the United States between 1876 and 1891.

List of people from the Isle of Wight

This is a list of notable people born in or strongly associated with the Isle of Wight, alphabetically within categories.

There's a Friend for Little Children

"There's a Friend for Little Children" is a hymn written by Albert Midlane. It was written on the evening of 7 February 1859, and was known as "Above the Bright Blue Sky" before it was published. It first appeared in a book entitled Good News for the Little Ones in December 1859. The original verses were arranged differently, and its tune "In Memoriam" was composed in 1868 by Sir John Stainer during a committee meeting for the 1875 version of Hymns Ancient and Modern.


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