Rev. Dr. George Matheson

1842 - 1906

Preacher and noted hymn-writer. Born in Glasgow, with poor sight, Matheson's vision worsened through his teenage years until he was almost blind. Assisted by his sisters, he studied hard and was able to enter the University of Glasgow where he proved to be a brilliant student, graduating in 1862.

Ordained in 1868, his first charge was as parish minister at Innellan (Argyll and Bute) and there he gained a reputation as a powerful preacher. Those who came from across the country to hear him often had no indication he was blind because of his remarkable ability to commit extensive sermons and considerable sections of the Bible to memory. In 1886, he moved to St. Bernard's Church in Edinburgh, where he served for eleven years.

Matheson wrote many article and books, but is best remembered for the words for well-known hymns such as 'O Love that wilt not let me go' (1882) and 'Make me a captive, Lord, and then I shall be free' (1890).

Matheson died while on holiday in North Berwick and lies buried in the Glasgow Necropolis.

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