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 >
This place is holy ground. J. Montgomery. [Death and Burial.] This is the opening line of Verses to the Memory of the late Richard Reynolds, of Bristol, London: Longmans, 1816. The Verses were given in three parts: i. "The death of the Righteous"; ii. "The Memory of the Just"; iii. "A Good Man's Monument." Mr. Reynolds was an emi¬nent Quaker philanthropist; and the “Monument" referred to was the Society for the relief of persons in necessitous circumstances which was founded in Bristol in his memory. The Verses were repeated in all the complete editions of Montgomery's Works. The cento given in several American hymnbooks, including Hatfield's Church Hymn Book, 1872, is composed of stanzas i., ii., vii.-ix. of pt. i. on " The death of the Righteous." The original is in 9 stanzas of 6 lines.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)