Miss Caroline Maria Noel, 1817-1877

Notes from Dr. Julian's Hymnology:

Miss Noel was the daughter of the Hon. Gerard T. Noel, and niece of the Hon. Baptist W. Noel. She was born in London, April 10th. 1817 and died at 39 Cumberland Place, Hyde Park, Dec. 7th. 1877. Her first hymn "Draw nigh unto my soul", (Indwelling) was written when she was 17. During the next three years she wrote about a dozen pieces. From 20 years of age to 40 she wrote nothing; and during the next 20 years the rest of her pieces were written. The first edition of her composition was published as "The Name of Jesus and other Verses for the Sick and Lonely" in 1861. This was enlarged from time to time and subsequently changed by the publishers to "The Name of Jesus and other Poems". The 1878 edition contains 78 pieces. Miss Noel, in common with Miss Charlotte Elliott, was a great sufferer, and many of these verses were the outcome of her days of pain. They are specially adapted "for the sick and lonely" and were written rather for private meditation than for public use, although several are suited for the latter purpose. Her best known hymn is the "Processional for Ascension Day, At the Name of Jesus". It is in the enlarged edition of "The Name of Jesus, etc. 1870" page 59 and is dated 1870 by the family.

Addendum with thanks to Margaret Ashworth. "... the sixth and youngest daughter in an upper-class family. Her father, Gerard Thomas Noel, was the second son of a baronet, and in line with common practice he became a Church of England clergyman. He wrote and published hymns, but none seems to have survived. ... The last 25 years of her life were spent in increasing illness and she was mainly bedridden; this prompted the title and some of the contents of her 1861 collection: The Name of Jesus and other Verses for the Sick and Lonely. In later editions ‘for the sick and lonely’ was dropped from its title.
There is a memorial tablet to her in Romsey Abbey, Hampshire, where her father was vicar (the abbey houses the tomb of Lord Mountbatten of Burma). On it are inscribed two stanzas of one of her poems: ‘Thou didst lead a blind man/ In thine earthly days/ Lead me now and always/ Even to the last/ In the way eternal/ And the darkness past,/ Till I read the story/ I was born to share;/ This the crowning glory,/ That my Lord is there’.
At the Name of Jesus is based on Philippians 2:5-11 (King James Bible):
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Miss Noel's hymn in 'Spiritual Songs' is no. 500, "At the Name of Jesus, Every knee shall bow". This is a beautiful hymn of praise and reverence to the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hymns by Miss Caroline Maria Noel