Elizabeth Scott was born at Hitchin. Her father, the Independent minister Thomas Scott (1679/80-1746), described her as a committed Christian poet. Her brothers, Joseph Nicoll (1702/03-69) and Thomas Scott (1705-75), also became Independent ministers, but she and Thomas were the primary hymn writers in the family. In January 1752, Elizabeth Scott married Elisha Williams in Norwich.  Williams was a Congregationalist minister, legislator, and army chaplain who had previously served as Rector of Yale College from 1726 to 1739 as well as minister of the church at Wethersfield, Connecticut. After their marriage, Williams returned to Wethersfield with his new wife, where he died in 1755. In 1761 Elizabeth remarried, this time to William Smith of New York. Upon his demise in 1769, she returned to Wethersfield, where she died in 1776. She wrote most of her hymns prior to her removal to America, many of which have survived in a few manuscript collections of her hymns. Her first published hymn appeared in 1763 in The Christian's Magazine. In 1769, more than a dozen of her hymns were included in A Collection of Hymns Adapted to Public Worship, compiled by two Baptist ministers, John Ash of Pershore and Caleb Evans of Bristol. Another twenty or so hymns were published posthumously in J. A. Dobell’s A New Selection of Nearly Eight Hundred Evangelical Hymns in 1806. A large collection of her hymns and occasional poems and surviving correspondence can be found among the manuscript collections at the Beinecke Library, Yale University.

For the texts of two letters from Elizabeth to her father, one dated 4 August 1738 and the other from 1740 (the dedicatory epistle to her manuscript volume of hymns and poems), click here