William Batchelder Bradbury

Photo added by Nita Karpf

William Batchelder Bradbury

York County, Maine, USA
Death 7 Jan 1868 (aged 51)
Montclair, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
Burial Bloomfield, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
Memorial ID 20128 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Hymnist. Born in York County, Maine, the son of Sophia Chase and David Bradbury. At fourteen, his family moved to Boston where he studied at Lowell Mason's music academy. He would secure a position as a singing teacher in Machias, Maine, followed by a post in St. John, New Brunswick. Eventually, he became a music teacher at the First Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York, followed by a rather more prestigious post at the Baptist Tabernacle in New York City. In 1841, he established free singing classes for children as a part of a well-rounded education. Eventually he held children's choir festivals with groups of over 1000. He was also critical in the establishment of music education in the growing public school system in New York City. His first book, 'The Young Choir,' co-edited with Charles W. Sanders was published in 1841. In 1845 a second book of songs, 'Young Choir 's Companion' appeared. In 1847, he traveled to Europe to study for eighteen months in Leipzig. After his return to the US, an 1850 collection titled 'Musical Gems for the School and Home' appeared, as well as his first book of hymns for children, 'Sunday School Melodies.' It was followed in 1853 by a large collection, 'The Shwam' including classic European hymns and adaptations from secular classical works including 'Woodworth.' In 1959, 'Oriola' appeared, which included the still familiar 'Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us.' In 1861, he founded his own publishing house and produced a series of Sunday School hymnals including 'The Golden Chain of Sabbath School Melodies' (1861) which sold an unprecedented two million copies, 'The Golden Shower' (1862) in which appeared the still popular 'Jesus Loves Me' for which he composed the music, and 'The Golden Censer, A Musical Offering to the Sabbath Schools' (1864) in which appeared 'He Leadeth Me' for which he composed the music. At age 51, he succumbed to tuberculosis, leaving a legacy of almost sixty published music collections. His last works, 'Bright Jewels' and 'The Victory,' appeared posthumously in 1869. He is today regarded as a pioneer in music education for children in both the church and public schools.

Bio by: Iola

Family Members



Plan a visit to Bloomfield Cemetery?



How famous was William Batchelder Bradbury?

Current rating:

35 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 4 Feb 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 20128
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Batchelder Bradbury (6 Oct 1816–7 Jan 1868), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20128, citing Bloomfield Cemetery, Bloomfield, Essex County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .