Cotton, George Edward Lynch, D.D., born at Chester, Oct. 29, 1813, was the son of Captain Thomas Cotton, who was killed in action on Nov. 13 in the same year. He was educated at Westminster, and Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1836. His first appointment was as an assistant master at Rugby. From Rugby he passed to Marlborough as Head Master in 1852. In 1858 he was consecrated Bishop of Calcutta, as successor to Dr. Daniel Wilson. He was drowned, on disembarking from a steamer at Koshtea, Oct. 6, 1866. His hymn, "We thank Thee, Lord, for this fair earth" (q.v.) is deservedly popular. [William T. Brooke]
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
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We thank, Thee, Lord, for this fair earth. Bishop G. E. L. Cotton. [Flower Services.] Published in Hymns for use in the Chapel of Marlborough College, 1856, No. 94, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and again in the enlarged edition of 1869. It has passed into numerous collections, and usually with the change of two or three words in the whole hymn.
During the early 1780s François H. Barthélemon (b. Bordeaux, France, 1741; d. Southwark, Surrey, England, 1808) wrote MORNING HYMN at the request of Jacob Duche, chaplain at the Female Orphan Asylum in London, England. Duche had requested that Barthélemon compose a tune for the well-known morning…
Display Title: We Thank Thee, Lord, for This Fair EarthFirst Line: We thank Thee, Lord, for this fair earthTune Title: ERNANAuthor: George E. L. CottonMeter: LMSource: Hymns for Use in the Chapel of Marlborough College, 1856