An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Olney Hymns

A 1779 collection of sixty-eight texts by William Cowper (1731-1800) and 280 texts by John Newton (1725-1807). Some of the texts were previously published. Most current hymnals include some texts from this work. Cowper was a widely acclaimed poet. His hymns reflect the melancholy which oppressed him for much of his life. Cowper moved to Olney, Buckinghamshire, in 1767. He lived there with Mary Unwin, the widow of a clergyman, and worked with Newton. Newton, a leading Anglican evangelical, was an ex-slave ship captain. After his conversion, Newton read for orders and was ordained in 1764 for the cure at Olney. In Newton's later years he was active in the anti-slavery movement. See Cowper, William; see Newton, John.

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.