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Background

Hymns Ancient and Modern: Historical Edition
William H. Frere, 1909

Henry Hart Milman, son of Sir Francis Milman, physician to George III, was born in London, February 10, 1791. He was educated at Dr. Burney’s Academy at Greenwich, at Eton, and at Brasenose College, Oxford. He won the Newdigate Prize Poem, and was Professor of Poetry, 1821-1831. He was ordained in 1817, and was Vicar of St. Mary’s, Reading, until 1835, when he was appointed a Canon of Westminster, and Rector of St. Margaret’s; he was made Dean of St. Paul’s in 1849, He died at Sunningfield, near Ascot, September 24, 1868. His principal prose works are Christianity from the Birth of Christ to the Abolition of Paganism in the Roman Empire, 1840; A History of Latin Christianity, 1854; and his chief poetical works are The Fall of Jerusalem, 1820; The Martyr of Antioch. His thirteen hymns were published in Heber’s posthumous Hymns in 1827, and afterwards in his selection of Psalms and Hymns, 1837. Dictionary of National Biography xxxviii, 1. Hymns 111, 477, 490.

The Hymns and Hymn Writers of The Church
Charles S. Nutter & Wilbur F. Tillett, 1911

Henry Hart Milman, an eminent dean of the Church of England and well known as a Church historian, was the son of Sir Francis Milman, a court physician of note, and was born in London February 10, 1791. He was educated at Eton and Oxford, where as a student he took well-nigh all the honors open to a student. His prize poem on “Apollo Belvidere,” written in 1812, Dean Stanley pronounced “the most perfect of all Oxford prize poems.” He entered the ministry in 1816; was Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1821 to 1831; became Canon of Westminster in 1835, and Dean of St. Paul’s in 1849. He died September 24, 1868. His career as a man of letters, theologian, and Churchman was brilliant. His poetic and theological writings are numerous. His History of the Jews (1829), History of Christianity (1840), Latin Christianity (1854), and other volumes are among the ablest and most valuable of nineteenth century contributions to English theological literature. Milman’s thirteen hymns were first published in Bishop Heber’s posthumous volume of Hymns, 1827, and later republished in his own Psalms and Hymns, 1837. They are all in use among modern Church hymnals.

Ride On, Ride On in Majesty 150

The Methodist Hymn-Book Illustrated
John Telford, 1909

Dean Milman was the youngest son of Sir F. Milman, an eminent Court physician. He had a brilliant course at Oxford. Dean Stanley called his Newdigate poem ‘the most perfect of Oxford prize poems.’ He became Vicar of Reading, and in 1821 Professor of Poetry at Oxford. From poetry he passed to history. His History of the Jews raised a storm of criticism, but, as Dean Stanley said, it treated the characters and events of sacred history both critically and reverently. In 1835 Dr. Milman became Canon of Westminster, and Rector of St. Margaret’s. He was appointed Dean of St. Paul’s in 1849. His work on Latin Christianity is one of the masterpieces of English ecclesiastical history.

The Dean’s thirteen hymns, including two for Lent, two for Advent, two funeral hymns, one for Passiontide, for Easter, and for those at sea, were composed before 1823, and published in his friend Heber’s Hymns, 1827. On May 11, 1821, Heber wrote to Milman, ‘I have during the last month received some assistance from –, which would once have pleased me much ; but, alas! your Advent, Good Friday, and Palm Sunday hymns have spoilt me for all other attempts of the sort.’ In the following December he wrote again, ‘You have indeed sent me a most powerful reinforcement to my projected hymn-book. A few more such, and I shall neither need nor wait for the aid of Scott and Southey. Most sincerely, I have not seen any hymns of the kind which more completely correspond to my ideas of what such compositions ought to be, or to the plan, the outline of which it has been my wish to fill up.’
TitleAuthor
Bound Upon the Accursed TreeRev. Henry H. Milman (1791-1868)
Brother, Thou Art Gone Before UsRev. Henry Hart Milman (1791-1868)
Lord, We Sit and Cry to TheeRev. Henry Hart Milman (1791-1868)
O Help Us, Lord; Each Hour of NeedRev. Henry H. Milman, 1827
Ride On! Ride On in Majesty!Rev. Henry H. Milman, 1827
When Our Heads Are Bowed with WoeRev. Henry H. Milman, 1827