Kelly, Thomas, B.A., son of Thomas Kelly, a Judge of the Irish Court of Common Pleas, was born in Dublin, July 13, 1769, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was designed for the Bar, and entered the Temple, London, with that intention; but having undergone a very marked spiritual change he took Holy Orders in 1792. His earnest evangelical preaching in Dublin led Archbishop Fowler to inhibit him and his companion preacher, Rowland Hill, from preaching in the city. For some time he preached in two unconsecrated buildings in Dublin, Plunket Street, and the Bethesda, and then, having seceded from the Established Church, he erected places of worship at Athy, Portarlington, Wexford, &c, in which he conducted divine worship and preached. H… Go to person page >
Forward let the people go. T. Kelly. [Press Onward.] Appeared in his Hymns . . . Not before Published, 1815, No. 70, in 5 stanzas of 6 lines. It was subsequently included in the various editions of his Hymns on Various Passages of Holy Scripture, &c. The hymn, No. 1166, in the 1869 Supplement to the New Congregational Hymn Book, “Onward let My children go," is composed of stanzas i., iii., ii. and iv., in the order named but somewhat altered. Both the original, and the altered form of the hymn are in other collections.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)