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Charlotte Elliott (18 March 1789 – 22 September 1871) was an English poet, hymn writer and editor. 

Charlotte, third daughter of Charles Elliott, a silk merchant of Clapham and Brighton and sister to Henry Venn Elliott, our founder, was highly educated, and developed, at an early age, a great passion for music and art. She was continuously told by different pastors at the many churches that she visited to pray more, study the Bible more and to perform more noble deeds. 

A severe sickness in 1821 led her to feel a need for a personal Saviour. About this time, the Rev. Dr Cesar Malan of Geneva, who was on a visit to her father, asked her whether she was at peace with God. A few days later she called on Dr Malan and committed her life to Christ. 

The beginning, on 9 May 1822, of their lifelong friendship was always regarded, according to her sister, as "the birthday of her soul to true spiritual life and peace". 

Her health was improved by a visit to Normandy, but in 1829 she once more became an almost helpless sufferer, with only occasional intervals of relief. 

In 1835, about twelve years after her conversion, HVE was raising funds for a school for the daughters of clergymen – our own St. Mary's Hall. 

Unable to help with the project, Charlotte felt useless, but then she remembered the words of Cesar Malan (see and decided to write a song for others who were in her situation. The words she wrote became one of the greatest soul-winning songs in the history of hymns. 

She contributed several hymns to a selection of Psalms and Hymns by HVE, published in 1835 when she also took on the editorial supervision of The Christian Remembrancer Pocket Book, an Annual, and in 1836 of the Invalid's Hymn Book – works previously conducted by a friend, Miss Harriet Kiernan, who was then in the last stages of consumption.  Her "Morning and Evening Hymns for a Week" was printed privately in 1837, and published in 1842. 

In spite of her illness, Charlotte lived to be 82. She died on September 22, 1871. After her death, more than a thousand letters were found among her papers, written by people telling her how her hymn had touched their lives. 

We have, for instance, mentioned elsewhere that Dora Wordsworth, daughter of William Wordsworth, asked to have the lines read to her again and again on her death bed. 

Billy Graham used it as the invitation in his crusades.

What is more, in her own lifetime Charlotte learned that copies of the poem were being sold and the money donated for St. Mary's Hall, the very project she had thought she could not help! 

She is commemorated, with her brother, HVE in the wording of a Blue Plaque at the gates to St Mary’s Hall, Brighton, unveiled in 2013.  Click here to view the article .

Charlotte Elliott

Charlotte Elliott Reclining.jpg

Just as I am - without one plea

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Just as I am - without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee

O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am - and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am - though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without - 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am - poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find - 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am - Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe -
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am - Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone - 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am - of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above - 
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

 Charlotte Elliott - A Brighton Hymn Writer


Pamela James


Elliott Family Tomb

We are grateful to Patricia Blunt, member of staff at SMH from 1988-96, for thinking of us when she happened across the Parish Magazine (please click) for St Andrew’s in Hove for May 1957. This churchyard houses not only the Elliott family tomb but, as recorded elsewhere on our website, one of the two possible resting places of SMH’s architect George Basevi and, we now learn, Sir George Everest!

The whole magazine is a fascinating insight into the mores of the late 1950s and has been offered, by kind permission of Patricia, to The Keep.”

Brighton May 2014 305a.JPG
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