James Bowring was born at Exeter, in 1792. He possessed at an early age a remarkable power of attaining languages, and acquired some reputation by his metrical translations of foreign poems. He became editor of "The Westminster Review" in 1825, and was elected to Parliament in 1835. In 1849, he was appointed Consul at Canton, and in 1854, was made Governor of Hong Kong, and received the honour of knighthood. He is the author of some important works on politics and travel, and is the recipient of several testimonials from foreign governments and societies. His poems and hymns have also added to his reputation. His "Matins and Vespers" have passed through many editions. In religion he is a Unitarian.
--Annotations of the Hymnal, Charl… Go to person page >
He was there alone, when even. Sir J. Bowring. [Retirement and Devotion.] Appeared in his Hymns, 1825, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines. In 1848 it was given in Longfellow and Johnson's Book of Hymns, Boston, in 3 stanzas. In this form it has been repeated in a few modern Unitarian collections.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)