Hymns Ancient & Modern, Sir Henry Williams Baker
and Henry Williams Baker.

A Herefordshire Vicar and his Hymn Book

Published May 2013. For more information or to purchase a copy please click on the flyer pdf to the right which can be printed as an order form.












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Hymns Ancient & Modern and Henry Williams Baker

A Herefordshire Vicar and his Hymn Book

ISBN  9780953631452     
Leominster History Study Group  © 2013  The Contributors

The Very Reverend Michael Tavinor, The Dean of Hereford 
Introduction    Anthony Malpas, Leominster History Study Group


Part One: A new hymnal and its roots

1   Towards Hymns Ancient & Modern: Anglican parish worship and music in the mid-nineteenth century
      John Harper, University of Bangor

2   Texts and contexts: the first edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern 
      Richard Watson, University of Durham

3    A compromise between old and new? : the music of Hymns Ancient & Modern 
      Jeremy Dibble, University of Durham

4    Henry Williams Baker: Secretary of the Committee, Chairman of the Proprietors, Leader of the Project
      Anthony Malpas, Leominster History Study Group


Part Two: The Reverend Sir Henry Williams Baker, Bart, and All Saints’ Church, Monkland

     5     Vicar of Monkland 
            Ann Malpas, Leominster History Study Group

     6.    The Restoration of All Saints’ Church, Monkland 
            Tim Bridges, The Victorian Society and Church Buildings Support Officer, Hereford Diocese

     7.    Hardman of Birmingham – Church Furnisher and Glazier 
            The Reverend Michael J Fisher, St Chad’s, Stafford

     8.   ‘Loud Organs His Glory forth tell in Deep Tone…’ An Organ for All Saints’ 
            James Berrow, Birmingham

     9.    The Sensitive Ritualist. Pastoral care and teaching 
The celebration in 1861 of the re-opening of All Saints’, Monkland, and subsequent annual festivals 
      John Harper, based on his sermon at Evensong, Sunday 29th May 2011.


Part Three: The Hereford Diocese in the nineteenth century: buildings and choral initiatives

    10.   Herefordshire  churches in the mid-nineteenth century: Review of Victorian church building,        restoration and refurbishment in Hereford Diocese. 
      Tim Bridges, The Victorian Society and Church Buildings Support Officer, Hereford Diocese

   11.  The Herefordshire Choral Union: the promotion and training of parish choirs in the Diocese. 
       Ann Malpas, Leominster History Study Group


Afterword:  The Very Reverend Michael Tavinor, The Dean of Hereford

 List of Illustrations 
Cover, front, back and spine (Arthur Davis)


About the contributors                                                 » More about the Authors      


To repeat what it says on the flyer:

This book takes a fresh look at the amazing story of the world famous hymn book Hymns Ancient & Modern. Three distinguished professors, John Harper of Bangor University and Richard Watson and Jeremy Dibble, both of Durham, contribute chapters on the background, origins, words and music of the hymn book.

Also included is a study by Anthony Malpas of the part played by the Reverend Sir Henry Williams Baker, Bart as the leader of the project to publish this phenomenally successful hymn book. With chapters by Tim Bridges, of the Victorian Society and Church Buildings Support Officer in the diocese of Hereford, on the Victorian restoration and rebuilding of Herefordshire churches in general and All Saints’ Church Monkland in particular; James Berrow on the Monkland organ; and Michael Fisher, author of ‘Gothic for Ever’ on the life and work of A.W.N. Pugin, on Hardman of Birmingham who supplied the glass and fittings for the restored Monkland church.

In addition, Ann Malpas contributes chapters on Henry Baker as a much loved Vicar of Monkland, Herefordshire, England, in the middle years of the 19th century, and also on the Hereford Choral Union, a pioneering organisation set up in the Hereford Diocese for the training and support of parish choirs. With a Foreword and Afterword by the Dean of Hereford, the Very Reverend Michael Tavinor.


REVIEW    Monkland’s musical baronet 

by Serenhedd James, writing in the Church Times, on our tribute to a hero of English Hymnody:

 "Hymns Ancient and Modern” and Henry Williams Baker: A Herefordshire vicar and his hymn book. Leominster History Study Group, editors
Leominster Historical Society     (978-0-95363145-2)

THIS book was produced as part of the sesquicentennial celebrations for the first words-and-music edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, and mainly draws on material delivered at a conference aimed at celebrating the book itself, and at restoring the name of Henry Williams Baker — original editor of Hymns A & M and  former Vicar of Monkland in the diocese of Hereford — to a prominent place in history. Baker was one of two great neighbouring Victorian musical clerical baronets, the other being the better-remembered Frederick Arthur Gore Ouseley, 12 miles away at Tenbury.

Chapters from three eminent scholars open the work. Professor John Harper introduces the context in which Baker worked, and provides a useful consideration of the nature and function of hymns, and their place in English worship, both before and after the Reformation. Professor Richard Watson deals with Baker’s choice of words, and Professor Jeremy Dibble writes on his choice of tunes, noting the influence on Baker of  German hymnody.

Anthony Malpas considers the business side of the publication of Hymns A & M, and Ann Malpas deals with Baker’s wider work at Monkland and in the diocese of Hereford. Tim Bridges, Michael Fisher, and James Berrow provide brief and illuminating chapters on the Monkland work of G. E. Street, who restored the church; Hardman & Co., who made the glass; and the organ-builders, J. W. Walker. Two interesting little chapters of a particularly Herefordshire theme close the book: one by Tim Bridges on local Victorian churches, and the other by Ann Malpas on the Herefordshire Choral Union.

There is much in this book to be commended; and not least the efforts of a local-history group to bring to the fore a man and his circle who deserve far greater recognition than they currently enjoy. That said, in terms of its editing, the book is a curate’s egg.

Chapter nine is three-and-a-half pages long, and is the reproduction of an address given by Professor Harper at a modern re-enactment of a choral evensong sung at Monkland in August 1871. A whistle-stop tour of Baker’s life and achievements, it would have been better placed as an introduction to the volume.

 In the early chapters, only certain hymn tunes are printed near their citations. Financial constraints may have made this necessary, but it means that one must either know the rest by heart, or read the book at the Bechstein, Hymns A & M in hand.

Most of the illustrations are useful, pertinent, and clear, but a number of the colour photographs are out of focus. Pages 75 to 77 appear twice, and the last word goes to the Dean of Hereford, Michael Tavinor, who shares in the widespread misconception that “He who sings prays twice” is an accurate quotation from St Augustine of Hippo.

That said, this is a book that anyone interested in the history of the English choral tradition will find interesting and rewarding.

Dr Serenhedd James

is Visiting Tutor in Ecclesiastical History at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, a former Organist of Pusey House, and a freelance church musician. 
( from the CHURCH TIMES - 21 Feb. 2014)