Hymnic Anniversaries for 2013

Article excerpt

The first thing you are likely to notice about this year's compilation of hymnic anniversaries is that it is more extensive than in previous years. This may be partly due to the coincidences of chronology, but it also owes something to the fuller information made available by electronic sources (more about that later).

A compilation like this does not yield much in the way of trends or clusters of information, though one small thread I noted was several authors who were not primarily (or intentionally) hymnists: Alexander Pope, John Bunyan, Louisa May Alcott. Many of these people and others listed here may now be remembered in hymnic circles for only one text or tune. (Those whose names survive for only one translation, one stanza, one arrangement, or one harmonization are not included.) But there is certainly much breadth, both chronological and geographical, in the data gathered here.

Join the Search!

As you will see below, only selected biographies (for names printed in boldface) have been provided. There were simply too many people to allow everyone to be discussed. But I hope you will consider the names without biographies as either an invitation or a challenge to look up some for yourself.

For most people the easiest place to begin such research is the Internet, but remember that such information is not always reliable. The usual place to begin, of course, is a search engine like Google (www.google.com), which is likely to lead you to the Cyber Hymnal (wwwhymntime. com/tch/) and Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org). One of the most reliable sources is co-sponsored by The Hymn Society, Hymnary.org (www.hymnary.org) . People on college and university campuses may have access to subscription sites such as Grove Music or the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; these may also be available through some public libraries. There are also a number of hymn-related blogs of varying depth and reliability; one of the best-researched is Conjubilant with Song (http://conjubilant.blogspot.com).

But keep in mind that some of these hymnwriters may only be listed in print resources, i.e., the customary companions and handbooks that have been issued for many hymnals. This may be especially true for people who have written or composed only a few items as well as those who are closely allied with a particular tradition.

Suggestion to hymnology instructors: have your students fill out the yearly calendar with biographies and text/tune examples for the entries that are not documented here. This will give them a good taste of how to research the hymns they use.

If you get stuck on a search, feel free to drop me an e-mail at cpdaw@bu.edu, and I'll be glad to suggest specific resources that might be helpful. Happy hunting!

Chronological Listing

1600 Years Ago - 413?

Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius died1

450 Years Ago - 1563

John Dowland born

John Milton Sr. born

425 Years Ago - 1588

George Wither born (June 11)

Josua Stegmann born (September 14)

400 Years Ago - 1613

Bartholomaeus Gesius died

John Austin born

Cotton Mather born (February 12)

Johann S te urlein died (May 5)

Jeremy Taylor born (baptized August 15)

Johannes Mühlmann died (November 14)

350 Years Ago - 1663

Joseph Stennett born

Simon-Joseph Pellegrin born

Thomas Selle died (July 2)

325 Years Ago - 1688

Emmanuel Swedenborg born (January 29)

Johann Andreas Rothe born (May 12)

Alexander Pope born (May 21)

Johann Ludwig Steiner born (July 1)

John Bunyan died (August 31)

300 Years Ago - 1713

John Stanley born (January 17)

Anna [Schindler] Dober born (April 9)

Joseph Stennett died (July 11)

275 Years Ago - 1738

Philip Hayes born (April 17)

Jonathan Battishill born (May)

Samuel Medley born (June 23)

250 Years Ago - 1763

Carl Bernhard Garve born (January 24)

Zerubbabel Wyvill born (baptized September 4)

Thomas Wright born (September 18)

John Byrom died (September 26)

225 Years Ago - 1788

Frederick Marc Antoine Venua born

Kaspar Ett born (January 5)

Charles Wesley died (March 29)

Thomas Raffles born (May 17)

Thomas James Judkin born (July 25)

Adoniram Judson born (August 9)

Joseph Hoskins died (September 28)

Sarah Josepha [Buell] Hale born (October 24)

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach died (December 15)

200 Years Ago -1813

Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music, Part Second published Leicester Darwall born (January 10)

Samuel Prideaux Tregelles born (January 30)

George Alexander Macfarren born (March 2)

John Swertner died (March 11)

Mary Anne Sanderson [Gibson] Deck born (March 12)

Matthias Keller born (March 20)

Jane Laurie Borthwick born (April 9)

Mary [Bowly] Peters born (April 17)

John Hart Stockton born (April 19)

James Chadwick born (April 24)

Charles William Schaeffer born (May 5)

Oscar Ahnfelt born (May 21)

Robert Murray McCheyne born (May 21)

Friederich Ferdinand Flemming died (May 27)

Henry Stevenson Washburn born (June 10)

Charles Timothy Brooks born (June 20)

Samuel Wolcott born (July 2)

Jonathan Call Woodman born (July 12)

Christian Henry Bateman born (August 9)

Jemima [Thompson] Luke born (August 19)

John Armstrong born (August 22)

Henry Edward Dibdin born (September 8)

Henry Thomas Smart born (October 26)

George Edward Lynch Cotton born (October 29)

Gurdon Robbins born (November 7)

William Owen born (December 12)

Henry Wellington Greatorex born (December 24)

Abraham Coles born (December 26)

175 Years Ago - 1838

Mary Augusta [Lee] Demarest born

George Wade Robinson born

Maria Straub born

Henry Godden Jackson born (January 1)

Chester G. …