Kelly, Thomas

(1769-1855)
   Born in Kellyville, County Queens, Ireland, son of an Irish judge, he graduated with honors from Trinity College, Dublin, then pursued legal studies at the Temple Bar, London. While there he experienced a religious conversion through reading a Hebrew concordance of the Old Testament. He abandoned law and was ordained in the Anglican faith. His evangelical zeal caused the Church authorities to ban him from preaching in Anglican churches in the Dublin diocese, so he left the Church of England and founded the "Kellyites," whose meeting place was in Duke Street, Dublin. Further meeting places were opened in other towns. He died in Dublin. Between 1804 and 1838 he produced eight editions of his hymnals; the final edition contained 767 hymns, many of which are still used in worship. Some of his publications: A Collection of Psalms and Hymns, 1802. Hymns on Various Passages of Scriptures, 1804. Hymns of Thomas Kelly, not before Published, 1815. Some of his hymns/poems: "The Head That Once Was Crowned with Thorns," "Look, ye saints! The sight is glorious," "We sing praise of him who died," "The Lord is Risen Indeed!"
   Sources: A Sacrifice of Praise: An Anthology of Christian Poetry in English from Caedmon to the Mid-Twentieth Century. James H. Trott, ed. Cumberland House Publishing, 1999. Biography of Thomas Kelly; Christian History Institute (http://chi.gospelcom.net/DAILYF/2002/07/daily07-13-2002.shtml). Biography of Thomas Kelly (http://www.evangelical-times.org/articles/may05/may05a12. htm). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Cyber Hymnal (http://www.cyberhymnal.org/index.htm). The Treasury of Religious Verse. Donald T. Kauffman, ed. Fleming H. Revell, 1962.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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