Palmer, Ray


b Little Compton, Rhode Is, USA 1808, d Newark, NJ, USA 1887. After a short period in business, at work in a Boston dry goods store, he studied at Phillips Academy, Andover and Yale Univ while also teaching at a NY girls’ school. Already a member of Park St Congregational Ch, he was ordained as a Congregational minister, serving churches at Bath, Maine (where his hymnwriting began), and Albany, New York State. In 1865 he moved to NY City to become the corresponding secretary of the American Congregational Union, a job he stayed with until he retired. to Newark in New Jersey. He published Hymns and Sacred Pieces (1865), Hymns of My Holy Hours and Other Pieces (1868) and his own Poetical Works (1876). In addition to his original verse he was one of the most gifted N American translators from Lat hymnody, and included items of both kinds in his Sabbath Hymn Book (1858). He would allow no alteration of his texts and would accept no payment for them; apart from Fanny Crosby (F van Alstyne, qv) he is said to have been the USA’s most prolific hymnwriter as well as one of the best- known and best-loved of his day. In Julian, Prof F M Bird endorses this view. No.731.

Hymns and songs by Palmer, Ray

Number Hymn Name
731 Jesus, the joy of loving hearts