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Samuel Trevor Francis was born on November 19, 1834 in a village north of London. His father, a merchant and artist, soon moved the family to the city of Hull, midway up the English coast. As a child, Samuel enjoyed poetry and even compiled a little handwritten volume of his own poetry. He also developed a passion for music, joining the church choir at age nine.
As a teenager, however, Samuel struggled spiritually. And when he moved to London for work, he knew things weren't right in his heart. One night, as he thought of suicide while walking a bridge over the Thames, he experienced a spiritual encounter that renewed his faith.
Francis later became a London merchant, but his real passion was hymn writing and open-air preaching, which occupied his remaining seventy-three years. His hymns were published in The Life of Faith and other papers and periodicals. And he traveled widely, preaching for the Plymouth Brethren. He was known throughout Great Britain and the world as an effective devotional speaker and died on December 28, 1925, at the age of ninety-two.