Bede (b. circa 672-673; d. May 26, 735), also known as Saint Bede or the Venerable Bede, was an English monk at Northumbrian monastery at Monkwearmouth (now Jarrow). Sent to the monastery at the young age of seven, he became deacon very early on, and then a priest at the age of thirty. An author and scholar, he is particularly known for his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, which gained him the title “Father of English History.” He also wrote many scientific and theological works, as well as poetry and music. Bede is the only native of Great Britain to have ever been made a Doctor of the Church. He died on Ascension Day, May 26, 735, and was buried in Durham Cathedral.
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Hymnum canentes martyrum. Venerable Bede. [The Holy Innocents.] Included, ascribed to Bede, in Cassander's Hymni Ecclesiastici, Cologne, 1556, and repeated by Ellinger, 1578, p. 256; Bässler, No. 63, and others. Also in Dr. Giles's edition of Bede's Opera, vol. i., Lond., 1843, p. 81, in 8 stanzas of 8 lines. Daniel, i., No. 176, quotes only stanza i. The first and last lines of each stanza are identical, a device which here produces a somewhat unnatural effect, and rather spoils an otherwise fine hymn. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
Translations in common use:—
1. The hymn for conquering martyrs raise. By J. M. Neale, in his Mediaeval Hymns, 1851, p. 15, in 6 stanzas of 8 lines, with short critical and historical notes. It was repeated in the People's Hymnal, 1867, and in an abridged form in the Hymnary, 1872.
2. A hymn for martyrs sweetly sing. This in Hymns Ancient & Modern, 1861, is Dr. Neale's translation altered by the compilers.
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)