Wreford, John Reynell, an English Unitarian minister, was born December 12, 1800, at Barnstaple; educated at Manchester College, and in 1826 became pastor of a Church in Birmingham. In 1831, on account of the failure of his voice, he withdrew from the active work of the ministry and, in conjunction with Rev. Hugh Hutton, established a school at Edgbaston. He wrote a History of Presbyterian Nonconformity in Birmingham, 1832, and Lays of Loyalty, 1837. He contributed fifty-five hymns to Rev. J. R. Beard's Collection, 1837. His most popular and valuable hymn is the one given in this book. The last years of his life were spent in retirement at Bristol, where he died in 1891.
—Hymn Writers of the Church by Charles Nutter… Go to person page >
God of the ocean, earth and sky, p. 1295, i. 1. In several modern American collections, including the Boston Hymns for Church and Home, 1905, this hymn takes stanza i. from J. R. Wreford, as above, and sts. ii.-v. from S. Longfellow's "God of the earth, the sky, the sea."
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, New Supplement (1907)