Born: May 1, 1672, Mil­ston (near Ames­bu­ry), Wilt­shire, Eng­land.

Died: June 17, 1719, Hol­land House, Ken­sing­ton, Eng­land.

Buried: West­min­ster Ab­bey, Lon­don, Eng­land.

Son of Lan­ce­lot Ad­di­son, some­time Dean of Lich­field and au­thor of De­vo­tional Po­ems, Joseph at­tend­ed the Char­ter­house, and Mag­da­len Coll­ege, Ox­ford (BA 1691, MA 1693). Al­though in­tend­ed for the Church, he stu­died law and pol­i­tics, and soon at­tained, through powe­r­ful in­flu­ence, some im­port­ant posts. He was suc­ces­sive­ly a Com­mis­sion­er of Ap­peals, Un­der Sec­re­tary of State, Sec­re­tary to the Lord Lieu­ten­ant of Ire­land, and Chief Sec­re­tary for Ire­land. He mar­ried the Dow­ag­er Count­ess of War­wick in 1716.

Addison is best known for his con­tri­bu­tions to the news­papers The Spec­ta­tor (where his hymns ap­peared), The Tat­ler, The Guard­ian, and The Free­hold­er. He al­so wrote the tra­ge­dy Cato.



  1. How Are Thy Servants Blest, O Lord!
  2. Lord My Pasture Shall Prepare, The
  3. Spacious Firmament on High, The
  4. When All Thy Mercies, O My God
  5. When Israel, Freed from Pharaoh’s Hand
  6. When Rising from the Bed of Death