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 William Henry Monk

William Henry Monk

Birth
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Death 18 Mar 1889 (aged 66)
Stoke Newington, London Borough of Hackney, Greater London, England
Burial Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 10622 · View Source
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Composer. He is most remembered for his nineteenth century musical composition “Eventide”. This tune was used for the Christian hymn “Abide with Me" with the lyrics being Henry Francis Lyte's poem. In 1857, his talents as a composer, arranger and editor were recognized when he was appointed the musical editor for “Hymns Ancient and Modern”, which was published in 1861 containing hundreds of hymns. A second edition with a supplement was published in 1875 and in later editions of 1889, 1904 and 1916. His notes written for the 1889 edition were done the day before he died. This collection of hymns would become one of the best-selling hymn books ever produced with 60 million copies sold. He also composed other hymns and anthems including “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” ”Christian Men, Arise and Give,” “O Day of Rest and Gladness,” “Those Eternal Bowers,” and “We Praise thee, Lord with Earliest Morning Ray.” Starting in 1924 and usually uncredited, his hymn “Abide with Me” was featured in fifteen films and “All Things Bright and Beautiful” in forty-one. Not much is known about his childhood, but he did learn the keyboard early. By the age of eighteen years old, he was the organist at St. Peter's Church, Eaton Square in Central London, by the age of twenty he was playing at St. George's Church and later at age twenty-two at St. Paul's Church at Portman Square. He secured a position of choirmaster at King's College at the age of twenty-four and two years later became the organist there. In 1852 he became the organist and choirmaster at St. Matthias Church in Stoke Newington remaining at this position until his death. He established a daily choral service with only a volunteer choir. He instituted singing Psalms and songs for the church calendar. For example, he composed for Christmas services “Hallelujah! For Unto Us A Child is Born” and for Easter services “Jesus Christ is Risen Today”. He started the magazine, “The Parish Choir”, which in its 3-year publication became an important source for protestant churches. In 1874 he was appointed professor of vocal studies at King's College and later accepted posts at two prestigious London music school: in 1876 the National Training School of Music and in 1878 Bedford College. He was the music editor of “The Holy Year” by Christropher Wordsworth, “The Congregational Psalmist”, “Psalter,Hymnal and Anthen Book of the Scottish Church”, and “Book of Common Prayer, with Plainsong and Appropriate Music”. Also, he taught at the School for the Indigent Blind. Although Monk impacted the world of church music in his time, his works are much less popular today.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 10 Jul 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10622
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Henry Monk (16 Mar 1823–18 Mar 1889), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10622, citing Highgate Cemetery (East), Highgate, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .