Montgomery, James, son of John Montgomery, a Moravian minister, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Nov. 4, 1771. In 1776 he removed with his parents to the Moravian Settlement at Gracehill, near Ballymena, county of Antrim. Two years after he was sent to the Fulneck Seminary, Yorkshire. He left Fulneck in 1787, and entered a retail shop at Mirfield, near Wakefield. Soon tiring of that he entered upon a similar situation at Wath, near Rotherham, only to find it quite as unsuitable to his taste as the former. A journey to London, with the hope of finding a publisher for his youthful poems ended in failure; and in 1792 he was glad to leave Wath for Shefield to join Mr. Gales, an auctioneer, bookseller, and printer of the Sheffield Register newspap… Go to person page >
The ground on which this day we stand. J. Montgomery. [Laying the Foundation Stone of a Church.] Written for the lay¬ing of the foundation stone of Holy Trinity Church, The Wicker, Sheffield, erected by the Misses Harrison (compilers of the Weston Hymn Book), which took place on June 30th, 1847. It was written at the earnest request of the Incumbent, though much against Montgomery's own wish, as he judged that on that subject he had written enough, and had "nothing more to say" (Memoirs, vol. vii. p. 78). The hymn was included in Montgomery's Original Hymns, 1853, No. 294, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)