1821 - 1891 Person Name: Edward H. Plumptre Author of "Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart" in The Hymnal of The Evangelical United Brethren Church Plumptre, Edward Hayes, D.D., son of Mr. E. H. Plumptre, was born in London, Aug. 6, 1821, and educated at King's College, London, and University College, Oxford, graduating as a double first in 1844. He was for some time Fellow of Brasenose. On taking Holy Orders in 1846 he rapidly attained to a foremost position as a Theologian and Preacher. His appointments have been important and influential, and include that of Assistant Preacher at Lincoln's Inn; Select Preacher at Oxford; Professor of Pastoral Theology at King's College, London; Dean of Queen's, Oxford; Prebendary in St. Paul's Cathedral, London; Professor of Exegesis of the New Testament in King's College, London; Boyle Lecturer; Grinfield Lecturer on the Septuagint, Oxford; Examiner in the Theological schools at Oxford; Member of the Old Testament Company for the Revision of the A.V. of the Holy Scriptures; Rector of Pluckley, 1869; Vicar of Bickley, Kent, 1873; and Dean of Wells, 1881.
Dean Plumptre's literary productions have been very numerous and important, and embrace the classics, history, divinity, biblical criticism, biography, and poetry. The list as set forth in Crockford's Clerical Directory is very extensive. His poetical works include Lazarus, and Other Poems, 1864; Master and Scholar, 1866; Things New and Old, 1884; and translations of Sophocles, Æschylus, and Dante. As a writer of sacred poetry he ranks very high. His hymns are elegant in style, fervent in spirit, and broad in treatment. The subjects chosen are mainly those associated with the revived Church life of the present day, from the Processional at a Choral Festival to hospital work and the spiritual life in schools and colleges. The rhythm of his verse has a special attraction for musicians, its poetry for the cultured, and its stately simplicity for the devout and earnest-minded. The two which have attained to the most extensive use in Great Britain and America are: Rejoice, ye pure in heart," and "Thine arm, O Lord, in days of old." His translations from the Latin, many of which were made for the Hymnary, 1871 and 1872, are very good and musical, but they have not been used in any way in proportion to their merits.
His original hymns in common use include:—
1. Behold they gain the lonely height. The Transfiguration. Written for and first published in the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge Church Hymns, 1871.
2. For all Thy countless bounties. National Hymns. Written for the Jubilee of Queen Victoria, 1887, and set to music by C. W. Lavington. It was printed, together with the National Anthem adapted for the Jubilee, in Good Words, 1887.
3. Lo, summer comes again! Harvest. Written in 1871 for use at the Harvest Festival in Pluckley Church, Kent, of which the author was then rector, and published in the same year in the Hymnary, No. 466.
4. March, march, onward soldiers true. Processional at Choral Festivals. Written in 1867 for the tune of Costa's March of the Israelites in the Oratorio of Eli, at the request of the Rev. Henry White, Chaplain of the Savoy, and first used in that Chapel. It was subsequently published in the Savoy Hymnary, N.D. , in 4 stanzas of 4 lines; in a Choral Festival book at Peterborough, and in the S. P. C. K. Church Hymns, 1871.
5. 0 Light, Whose beams illumine all. The Way, the Truth, and the Life. Written in May 1864, and published in his Lazarus, and Other Poems, 1864, as one of five Hymns for School and College. It passed into the 1868 Appendix to Hymns Ancient & Modern, and again into other collections.
6. 0 Lord of hosts, all heaven possessing. For School or College. Written in May, 1864, and published in his Lazarus and other Poems, 1864, in 5 stanzas of 6 lines.
7. 0 praise the Lord our God. Processional Thanksgiving Hymn. Written May 1864, and published in his Lazarus, and other Poems, 1864, in 4 stanzas of 8 lines. It is a most suitable hymn for Sunday school gatherings.
8. Rejoice, ye pure in heart. Processional at Choral Festival. Written in May 1865, for the Peterborough Choral Festival of that year, and first used in Peterborough Cathedral. In the same year it was published with special music by Novello & Co; and again (without music) in the 2nd edition of Lazarus, and Other Poems, 1865. It was included in the 1868 Appendix to Hymns Ancient & Modern with the change in stanza i., line 3, of "Your orient banner wave on high," to "Your festal banner wave on high." It is more widely used than any other of the author's hymns. Authorized text in Hymns Ancient & Modern.
9. Thine arm, 0 Lord, in days of old. Hospitals. Written in 1864 for use in King's College Hospital, London, and first printed on a fly-sheet as "A Hymn used in the Chapel of King's College Hospital." It was included in the 2nd edition of Lazarus, and Other Poems, 1865; in the 1868 Appendix to Hymns Ancient & Modern; the S. P. C. K. Church Hymns, 1871; Thring's Collection, 1882; and many others.
10. Thy hand, 0 God, has guided. Church Defence. Included in the 1889 Supplemental Hymns to Hymns Ancient & Modern The closing line of each stanza, "One Church, one Faith, one Lord," comes in with fine effect.
Dean Plumptre's Life of Bishop Ken, 1888, is an exhaustive and excellent work.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Plumptre, E. H., p. 897, i. Died at the Deanery, Wells, Feb. 1, 1891.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Appendix, Part II (1907)
E. H. Plumptre