Cowper, William, the poet. The leading events in the life of Cowper are: born in his father's rectory, Berkhampstead, Nov. 26, 1731; educated at Westminster; called to the Bar, 1754; madness, 1763; residence at Huntingdon, 1765; removal to Olney, 1768; to Weston, 1786; to East Dereham, 1795; death there, April 25, 1800.
The simple life of Cowper, marked chiefly by its innocent recreations and tender friendships, was in reality a tragedy. His mother, whom he commemorated in the exquisite "Lines on her picture," a vivid delineation of his childhood, written in his 60th year, died when he was six years old. At his first school he was profoundly wretched, but happier at Westminster; excelling at cricket and football, and numbering Warren Hasti… Go to person page >
Dear Lord, accept a sinful heart. W. Cowper. [Self-acquaintance.] First published in J. Newton's Twenty-Six Letters on Religious Subjects, &c, by Omicron, 1774, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and again in K. Conyers's Collection of the same year. In 1779 it was also iucluded in the Olney Hymns, Bk. iii., No. 26. It is found in a few modern collections, including Dr. Dale's English Hymn Bookm 1874.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)