John Byrom

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Born: 29 February 1692

Died: 26 September 1763


John Byrom was an English poet and writer: he devised a system of shorthand widely used in the eighteenth century, but is now best known for the text of the Christmas hymn 'Christians, awake, salute the happy morn'. This hymn was written as a Christmas present for his daughter Dorothy (known as Dolly) in 1745: it is commonly sung to a tune by John Wainwright. Wainwright's setting was published in his collection A Collection of Psalm Tunes, Anthems, Hymns, and Chants [1766], which also included a setting of one other Christmas hymn by Byrom, 'God, who at sundry times, in divers ways'.

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