Henry Bateman

Short Name: Henry Bateman
Full Name: Bateman, Henry, 1802-1872
Birth Year: 1802
Death Year: 1872

Bateman, Henry, a popular writer of hymns for children, was descended from the De Voeux, a Huguenot family. Born on March 6, 1802, in Bunhill Row, Finsbury, he was educated for commercial pursuits, and followed the trade of a timber merchant. He died in 1872. During the greater part of his life he was addicted to the writing of poetry, but his hymns were mostly written between 1856 and 1864. His published works are:—

(1) Belgium and Up and Down the Rhine, 1858; (2) Sunday Sunshine: New Hymns and Poems for the Young, 1858; (3) Home Musings: Metrical Lay Sermons, 1862; (4) Heart Melodies: Being 365 New Hymns and Psalms, 1862; (5) Fret Not, and Other Poems, including Hymns with music, 1869.

From his Sunday Sunshine (Lond., Nisbet & Co., 1858) the following hymns have come into common use:—
1. A holy and a happy youth. Youthful Piety.
2. A noble river, wide and deep. Finding of Moses.
3. A sparrow with its plain brown coat. Providence.
4. A thought is but a little thing. Little Things.
5. A tranquil heart and pleasant thought. Peace.
6. A pebble in the water. Little Things.
7. Always by day, always by night. Omniscience.
8. And is it true that Jesus came? Good Shepherd.
9. At Jordan John baptizing taught. Whitsuntide.
10. Cross purposes, how sad they are. Duty.
11. Daniel was right as right could be. Duty.
12. From grassy nest on fluttering wing. Providence.
13. God does not judge as we must do. Charity.
14. God made the sea, the wide, deep sea. Providence.
15. Good night, good night, the day is done. Evening.
16. Great God, the world is full of Thee. Omnipresence.
17. How joyously amongst the flowers. Cain & Abel.
18. I always love those friends the best. Jesus the Truth.
19. If anything seems too hard to do. Perseverance.
20. In Eden's garden, fair and bright. Holiness.
21. In my soft, bed when quite alone. Omniscience.
22. In the wild desert, far from home. Providence.
23. It is but little that I know. Faith.
24. May I touch His garment's hem. Faith.
25. No tears in heaven! ah, then 1 know. Heaven.
26. O lead me not, O lead me not. The Lord's Prayer.
27. On the green grass five thousand men. Providence.
28. Over the fields in hedgerows green. Duty.
29. Sometimes I do not like to feel. Solitude.
30. There is one thing quite sure to make. Good Temper.
31. Thou blessed Jesus, pity me. Jesus the Guide.
32. Through all the way, the little way. Providence.
33. 'Tis very wonderful, I'm sure. Trust.
34. Tramp, tramp upon their unknown way. The Red Sea.
35. When God bade Abraham sacrifice. Resignation.
36. When Jairus's daughter was so ill. Power of Christ.
37. When morning, fresh and bright and new. Morning.
38. The good old book! with histories. Holy Scriptures.
39. Year after year, with patient love. A Parent's Love.

In addition to the foregoing the following from his Heart Melodies, &c. (Lond., Snow, 1862), are also in common use, and have attained to some popularity:—
40. Gracious Saviour, gentle Shepherd [thus before Thee]. Evening.
41. Let us pray, the Lord is willing. Prayer.
42. Was it for me, dear Lord, for me? Good Friday.

As will be gathered from the above list of hymns in common use, the Sunday Sunshine has been the most successful of Mr. Bateman's works. This success is due mainly to the fact that the hymns deal with subjects easily treated of in hymns for children. His hymns are hearty and natural in tone. Some of the best of those published in the Sunday Sunshine were given in the Book of Praise for Children, 1875, edited by W. Garrett Holder, and from thence have passed into many collections for children. His best hymn is "Light of the world! Whose kind and gentle care" (q. v.). It is a prayer of more than usual merit for Divine guidance. [Rev. W. Garrett Holder]

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


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