John Deffray

  • Born
  • Died
    4th September 1738
  • Birthplace
John Deffray was an English rector. Deffray was a Huguenot born in 1661, the only surviving son of a doctor, Jean Deffray. He and his parents left France a few months before Louis XIV revoked of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, thereby removing the right of Protestants to practise their faith. Fortunately, a diary of his survives. In 1703, The Christian’s Daily Manual of Prayer and Praises was published, the title page bearing the recommendation "for the use of Religious Societies and Pious Families". As was normal practice for a gentleman, Deffray’s name does not appear, though it is clear from SPCK records that he did in fact compile this collection of prayers, psalms and hymns, as well as a later one, The Christian’s Sacrifice of Praises, in 1724. Many of the tunes come from Playford’s Whole Book of Psalms, with some emendations, a few are French, and some may well have been composed by Deffray himself. He was evidently a competent musician as his diary mentions the purchase of a spinet, and his will refers to violins and a collection of printed music.

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