An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Key, Francis Scott

(Aug. 1, 1779-Jan. 11, 1843). Episcopal layman and author of "The Star Spangled Banner." He was born in Frederick, now Carroll, County, Maryland. Key studied at St. John's College, Annapolis, 1789-1796. After graduation he studied law in Annapolis. On Sept. 13-14, 1814, the British were firing on Fort McHenry in the Chesapeake Bay. Key was watching the fight in suspense during the night bombardment. At daybreak he was overjoyed to see the "Stars and Stripes" still flying over the fort. He wrote the poem, "The Star Spangled Banner." He also wrote a hymn, "Lord, with Glowing Heart I'd Praise Thee." Key was a religious person, and at one time he considered entering the ordained ministry. For many years he was a lay reader at St. John's Church, Georgetown. He was a deputy to six General Conventions from 1814 until 1826. Key died in Baltimore.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.