Symud i'r prif gynnwys

Devotion, Desire and Heart: Frances Ridley Havergal by Gary Gregor From 1923 until his death in 1946, my grandfather, Arthur L. Gregor, lived in Newton at the house named 'Havergal' at the top of the road that leads down to Caswell Bay. Originally known as 'Park Villa', it was built after 1874 by a John Tucker of Langland, who had taken out a ninety- nine year lease on the land from John Woollacott, who had purchased it at an 1845 auction at the Mermaid Hotel. The 1878 Ordnance Survey map shows the house complete, and with the grounds laid out. Whether this John Tucker (who was born in Rhosili around 1833) was related to William Tucker, who had built the first Methodist chapel at the Dunns in 1814 and who owned Caswell Bay Cottage, is not clear, for another John Tucker, born in Parkmill, lived in nearby 'Horton Villa'. A link with prominent local Methodists might explain how two Christian sisters from Worcester, Maria and Frances Havergal, came to lodge at 'Park Villa' from October 1878. The latter, Frances Ridley Havergal, died there eight months later aged forty-two, and it was in her memory that the name of the house was changed around 1913, and a memorial plaque erected in the wall in 1937. Frances Havergal was born on 14th December 1836, the youngest of the six children of the Rev. W.H.Havergal, Rector of Astley, Worcester- shire, and his wife Jane. She had two brothers and three elder sisters, one of whom, Maria, like her never married. Baptised on 25th January 1837, Frances was given the middle name Ridley after her godfather the Rev. W.H.Ridley, Rector of Hambledon, and she was proud to be linked with his ancestor Nicholas Ridley, the martyred Bishop of London.2 As her eldest sister Miriam had already left school, each morning she would teach Frances reading and spelling for half an hour, and each afternoon twenty to thirty stitches of patchwork, while giving her a short Biblical text to learn. Of a fair complexion with light curling hair, Frances was often engrossed in books from the age of four she had learned to write and could read from the Bible. She would join in the Sunday evening hymn singing, and by the age of seven was writing verses herself. Her father was a talented musician who composed chants and sacred songs (such as a setting of the hymn 'From Greenland's icy mountains'). But he had suffered concussion and eye damage as a result of a carriage accident, and ill health caused him to resign the living of Astley, so that