Brady, Nicholas


b Bandon, Co. Cork, Ireland, 1659; d Richmond, Surrey 1726. Westminster School, Christ Ch Coll Oxford and Trinity Coll, Dublin (DD). After ordination, he was an incumbent in Co Cork and Prebendary of Cork Cathedral; he supported William III in 1688, more than once saved his home town from fire in the Irish war, and became a royal chaplain. In 1691 he became a London incumbent at St Katharine Cree in Leadenhall St, then served at Richmond, Surrey, from 1696 where he also ran a school (probably to offset his debts), holding other posts in plurality. He rendered Virgil’s Aeneid into English verse, but most significantly co-authored the 1696 ‘New Version’ of the Psalms, ‘Fitted to the Tunes used in Churches’, with Nahum Tate, dedicated to William III. The 1698 2nd edn was ‘allowed’ by the king in council, and ‘permitted to be used in all churches as shall think fit to receive it’. Various theories suggest how the work was divided between its authors; none can be proved. In Julian’s extensive listing of ‘Psalters, English’, the work is assessed as partly ornate and vigorous, partly poor and spiritless Common Metre, and ‘a few examples of sweet and simple verse’. It was intended to be an improvement on the generally cruder (but accurate) ‘Old Version’ of Sternhold and Hopkins, but many congregations clung to what was more familiar. Often (like its predecessor) printed and bound with the BCP, ‘Tate and Brady’ lasted for perhaps 2 centuries and was once in fairly general use; but by around 1890 it had disappeared from London churches and from almost everywhere else. Curiously, the book enjoyed greater success in N America than in England. However, several metrical Psalms from this historic work were still in use in the 20th c; eg the 12 included in The Oxford Hymn Book of 1908. Nos.33*, 768*.

Hymns and songs by Brady, Nicholas

Number Hymn Name
768 Through all the changing scenes of life