Hatch, Edwin


b Derby 1835, d Headington, Oxford 1889. King Edward’s Sch, Birmingham and Pembroke Coll Oxford (BA 1857). Before going to Oxford, in 1853, he left nonconformity to join the CofE, and afterwards, in 1859, he was ordained. After ministry in urban E London he was appointed Prof of Classics at the Univ of Toronto, Canada. He returned to Oxford in 1867 as Vice-Principal of St Mary’s Hall, then Rector of Purleigh (Essex) in 1883, and became the University’s Reader in Ecclesiastical History from 1885 for his remaining years, having been the Bampton Lecturer (on the organisation of the early church) for 1880. This work was translated by Harnack for publication in German – the reverse of the usual direction of such work. To this were added in 1888 his Hibbert Lectures on Gk influence on the church; he also wrote on the Septuagint, the Gk version of the OT. He was made an Hon DD by Edinburgh Univ in 1883. His widow published a collection of his verse, Towards Fields of Light, in the year following his sudden death. He was known as a learned academic with an essentially childlike and humble faith. ‘His hymn-writing was limited’, says Julian; but he is now remembered for one succinct, widely-used and enduring text, almost 90% of it written in monosyllables. No.517.

Hymns and songs by Hatch, Edwin

Number Hymn Name
517 Breathe on me, breath of God