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Alline, Henry (1748–1784), evangelist and hymn writer, was born in Newport, Rhode Island, on 14 June 1748, the second son of William Alline and Rebecca Clark. His father, who was probably a miller, responded to the announcements of free land in Nova Scotia...

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Alexander Gordon

revised by M. C. Curthoys

Anstice, Joseph (1808–1836), classical scholar and hymn writer, the second son of William Anstice and his wife, Penelope, daughter of John Poole of Over Stowey, Somerset, was born on 21 December 1808 at Madeley, Shropshire, where the Anstice family had extensive iron-founding interests. He received his early education from his uncle, ...

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Sir John Stanhope Arkwright (1872–1954) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1902 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Arkwright, Sir John Stanhope (1872–1954), politician and hymn writer, was born at 11 Lowndes Street, London, on 10 July 1872, the only son (there were three daughters) of John Hungerford Arkwright (1833–1905), landowner and lord lieutenant of Herefordshire, of Hampton Court, Leominster, Herefordshire...

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Baker, Sir Henry Williams, third baronet (1821–1877), hymn writer, was born in London on 27 May 1821, the eldest of the two sons and five daughters of Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Loraine Baker, second baronet (1787–1859), and his wife, Louisa Anne (d. 1861)...

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Beddome, Benjamin (1717–1795), Particular Baptist minister and hymn writer, the son of John Beddome (d. 1757), Baptist minister, and Rachel Brandon, was born at Henley in Arden, Warwickshire, on 23 January 1717. He was baptized in 1739 at the Baptist church at ...

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A. F. Pollard

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Blew, William John (1808–1894), liturgical scholar and hymn writer, the only son of William Blew of St James's, Westminster, was born in that parish on 13 April 1808, and educated with John Henry Newman at St Nicholas's School, Ealing, and at Oxford, where he matriculated from ...

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Horatius Bonar (1808–1889) by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bonar, Horatius (1808–1889), Free Church of Scotland minister and hymn writer, was born at Edinburgh on 19 December 1808. He was the sixth son of James Bonar, the second solicitor of excise at Edinburgh, and his wife, Marjory Maitland (d. 1854), the daughter of ...

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Burnham, Richard (bap. 1749, d. 1810), Particular Baptist minister and hymnodist, son of William and Ann Burnham, was baptized at the parish church, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, on 22 April 1749. Burnham later embraced Baptist views and joined the Particular Baptist church at Reading...

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Coles, Vincent Stuckey Stratton (1845–1929), Church of England clergyman and hymn writer, was born on 27 March 1845 at the rectory, Shepton Beauchamp, Somerset, the only son of the Revd James Stratton Coles (1810–1872), rector of Shepton Beauchamp from 1836 and later rural dean and a prebendary of ...

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Cú Chuimne (d. 747), canonist and hymn writer, is associated with Columba's monastery of Iona in a colophon found in the Paris manuscript Bibliothèque Nationale, MS Lat. 12021. His date of birth is unknown but his obit is recorded in 747 in the annals of ...

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Dix, William Chatterton (1837–1898), hymn writer, was born in Bristol on 14 June 1837, the only son of John Dix (b. 1811, d. in or after 1864), a surgeon and author, who was an alcoholic and subsequently abandoned the family to settle in ...

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T. W. Bayne

revised by Douglas Brown

Dougall, Neil (1776–1862), poet and hymn writer, was born on 9 December 1776 at Greenock, the son of Neil Dougald and his wife, Jean Moir. His father was a joiner and sailor, who was pressed into the naval service and died in Ceylon...

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Ellerton, John (1826–1893), hymn writer and editor of hymnals, was born on 16 December 1826 in Clerkenwell, London, the elder son of George Ellerton (1776–1844), of private means, who came from an evangelical Yorkshire family, and his wife, Jemima Frances, née Brown (1794/5–1866)...

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Gordon Goodwin

revised by Sarah Brolly

Fowler, Henry (1779–1838), hymn writer, was born at Yealmpton, Devon, on 11 December 1779, and was apprenticed before he was twelve to a ‘Mr E of Dartmouth’. He remained reticent in his autobiography about his early life, but recalled the 'carnal vigour...

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Grinfield, Thomas (1788–1870), Church of England clergyman and hymn writer, son of Thomas Grinfield, a Moravian minister in Bristol, and Anna Joanna Barham, was born at Bath on 27 September 1788, the brother of Edward William Grinfield. Educated at St Paul's Cray, Kent...

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Gurney, Archer Thompson (1820–1887), Church of England clergyman and hymn writer, was born at Tregony in Cornwall on 15 July 1820. His father, Richard Gurney (1790–1843), was vice-warden of the stannaries of Devon. In 1830 he claimed to be elected member of ...

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Hart, Joseph (1711/12–1768), Independent minister and hymn writer, was born in London. Little is known about his early life except that his parents were Independents and that he had a classical education. He taught classics in a London school and published translations of ...

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Hopkins, John (1520/21–1570), psalmodist and Church of England clergyman, was born at Wednesbury, Staffordshire. Nothing is known of his family or early life. He is probably identifiable with the John Hopkins who supplicated for the degree of BA at Oxford in March 1544 (he '...