Thomas Cotterill

Short Name: Thomas Cotterill
Full Name: Cotterill, Thomas, 1779-1823
Birth Year: 1779
Death Year: 1823

Thomas Cotterill was born in 1779; studied at S. John's College, Cambridge, graduating M.A.; ordained in 1806, and enterred upon parochial work at Tutbury; afterwards removed to Lane End, where he remained for nine years among the Potteries; in 1817, became perpetual Curate of S. Paul's, Sheffield. He died in 1823. He was the author of several books; among them, "A Selection of Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Use, adapted to the Services of the Church of England." In the preparation of this collection (the 8th ed., 1819), he had the assistance of Montgomery, who in this work did what he condemned in others, viz., altering and remodeling other authors' hymns.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charles Hutchins, M.A., 1872.


Cotterill, Thomas, M.A., was the son of a woolstapler at Cannock, Staffordshire, where he was born Dec. 4, 1779. After attending the local boarding-school of the Rev. J. Lomax, he proceeded to the Free School, Birmingham. He graduated at St. John's College, Cambridge (B.A. 1801, M.A. 1805), of which he became a Fellow. Taking Holy Orders, he became Curate of Tutbury in June, 1803 (not 1806, as stated by Miller in Singers & Songs of the Church). His subsequent charges were the Incumbency of Lane End, Staffordshire, 1808-17, and the Perpetual Curacy of St. Paul's Sheffield, 1817-23. He died at Sheffield Dec. 29, 1823 (not Jan. 5, 1824, as in the Gentleman’s Magazine), aged 44. His volume of Family Prayers attained to the sixth edi¬tion in 1824. As a hymn-writer, Cotterill is less known than as the compiler of a Selection of Psalms and Hymns which has had a most marked effect on modern hymnals. The first edition of that Selection was published in 1810, and the 9th in 1820. All subsequent issues were reprints of the last. The most important edition is the 8th, 1819. To that Selection Cotterill contributed at various dates 25 original hymns and versions of individual psalms. These, in common with all the hymns in the Selection, are given without author's name. Through the aid, however, of marked copies [in the collections of Brooke and Julian] and of members of Cotterill's family, we are enabled to identify most, if not all, of his original productions. In addition to those which are annotated under their first lines, we have—

i. In his Selection of Psalms & Hymns for Public and Private Use, adapted to the Festivals of the Church of England, &c, 1st ed., 1810:—
1. Awake, O sword, the Father cried. Atonement.
2. Before Thy throne of grace, O Lord. Lent.
3. From Sinai's mount, in might array'd. The Law and the Gospel.
4. From Thine all-seeing Spirit, Lord. Ps. 139.
5. In all the ways and works of God. Ps. 145.
6. Out of the deeps, O Lord, we call. Ps. 130.
7. The Lord, who once on Calvary. The Intercessor. This is based on “Where high the heavenly temple stands," q. v.
ii. In the Appendix to the 6th ed. of the same Selection, Staffordshire, 1815:—
8. Blessed are they who mourn for sin. Lent.
9. Father of mercies, let our songs [way, ways]. Thanksgiving.
10. I was alive without the law. Lent.
11. Lord of the Sabbath, 'tis Thy day. Sunday.
iii. In the 8th edition of the same, 1819 :—
12. Help us, O Lord, Thy yoke to wear. Charity Sermons. This is sometimes given as "Lord, let us learn Thy yoke to wear," as in Kennedy, 1863, &c.
13. I love the Lord, for He hath heard. Ps. 116.
14. Lo in the East a star appears. Epiphany. This in an altered form begins in Kennedy, 1863, No. 188, with stanza ii., "The ancient sages from afar."
15. Lord, cause Thy face on us to shine. For Unity.
16. When Christ, victorious from the grave. Easter. The 9th ed. of the Selection, 1820, was practically a new work. It was compiled by Cotterill, but revised by Dr. Harcourt, the Archbishop of York, and was dedi¬cated to him. It was the outcome of the compromise in the legal proceedings over the 8th ed., 1819. The 8th ed. contained 367 hymns in addition to 128 versions of the Psalms and 6 Doxologies, the 9th only 152. Its full title was A Selection of Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship, Lond., T. Cadell, 1820. It may be noted that copies of the 8th ed., 1819, are found with two distinct title-pages. One of these, accompanied with the preface, was for the general public, the second, without the preface, for the use of the congregations of St. James's and St. Paul's, Sheffield.

Of Cotterill's hymns the most popular are, "O'er the realms of pagan darkness," "Let songs of praises fill the sky," and "Jesus exalted far on high," but these are not distinguished by any striking features of excellence. He was more happy in some of his alterations of older hymns, and in the com¬piling of centos. Many of the readings introduced into the great hymns of the Church first appeared in his Selection. The most notable amongst these are, "Rock of Ages," in 3 stanzas, as in Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861, the Wesleyan Hymn Book, and other collections; "Lo! He comes with clouds descending;" and “Great God, what do I see and hear." Cotterill's connection with the Uttoxeter Psalms & Hymns, 1805, is given in detail in the article on Staffordshire Hymn-books, and his lawsuit over the 8th ed. of his Selection, 1819, in the article on England Hymnody, Church of.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Texts by Thomas Cotterill (48)sort descendingAsInstances
A ceia do Senhor Jesus queremos celebrarThomas Cotterill (Author)2
Again our earthly cares we leaveThomas Cotterill (Author (ver. 1))4
All hail auspicious mornThomas Cotterill (Author)2
Almighty Father, God of graceThomas Cotterill (Author)12
Around thy table, holy Lord, In fellowship we meetCotterill (Author)5
Awake, ye saints, and raise your eyesCotterill (Author)2
Awake, ye saints, awake, And hail this sacred dayThomas Cotterill (Author)108
By thy birth, and by thy tearsThomas Cotterill (Alterer (with others))1
Children of God, awake, And hail this sacred dayThos. Cotterill (Author)2
Dread Jehovah, God of nationsThomas Cotterill (Author)5
Eternal Spirit, God of TruthThomas Cotterill (Author)64
Eternal Spirit, power of truthThomas Cotterill (Author)3
Eternal Spirit, Source of truthRev. Thomas Cotterill, 1779-1823 (Author)5
Father of mercies, let our songsThomas Cotterill (Author)5
Fountain of mercy, God of loveThomas Cotterill (Author)1
God, in the gospel of his SonThomas Cotterill (Alterer)29
Great God of Abraham! hear our prayerThomas Cotterill (Author)5
Great God, what do I see and hear!Thomas Cotterill (Alterer)19
Hail the day that sees Him riseThomas Cotterill (Author)20
Help us, O Lord, thy yoke to wearThomas Cotterill (1779-1823) (Author)38
Holy Ghost, thou Source of lightCotterill (Author)1
In memory of the Savior's loveThomas Cotterill, 1779-1823 (Author)77
Iŋyaŋ Ohiŋniyaŋ kiŋThos. Cotterill (Alterer)1
Jesus, exalted far on highThomas Cotterill (Author)26
La tago venis de l' Sinjor'Thomas Cotterill, 1779-1823 (Author)2
Let songs of praises fill the skyThomas Cotterill (Author)88
Lo, in the east appears a starThomas Cotterill (Author)2
Lo round the throne a glorious bandRev. Thomas Cotterill (Author)1
Lord, cause thy face on us to shineThomas Cotterill (Author)13
Lord God of hosts, by all adoredThomas Cotterill (Author)24
Lord of the Sabbath, hear our vowsThomas Cotterill (Alterer (and others))8
O bless the Lord, my soul, His grace to thee proclaimThos. Cotterill (Author)2
O King of Salem, Prince of peaceThomas Cotterill (Author)3
O Thou, from Whom all goodness flowsThomas Cotterill (Author)13
O'er the realms of pagan darknessRev. Thomas Cotterill, 1779-1823 (Author)72
Our God is love, and all his saintsThos. Cotterill (Author (attributed to))9
Our God is Love, and all his sonsThomas Cotterill (Author (attributed to))1
Out of the deeps, O Lord, we callThomas Cotterill (Author)4
Prepare us Lord to view thy crossThomas Cotterill (Author)28
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in theeThomas Cotterill (Alterer)28
Servants of God, awakeRev. Thomas Cotterill (Author (v.1 and 2))1
Spirit of mercy, truth, and loveThomas Cotterill (Alterer)2
Spirit of truth, thy grace impartThomas Cotterill (Author)3
The Lord who once on Calvary bledThomas Cotterill (Author)6
Thee we adore, eternal Lord!Thomas Cotterill (Author)76
Thee we adore, O gracious LordThos. Cotterill (Author)1
Thou boundless source of every goodThomas Cotterill (Author)18
To thee all angels cry aloudRev. Thomas Cotterill (1779-1823) (Author)1

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