Henry Williams Baker (1821-1877)

Born: May 27, 1821, Bel­mont House, Vaux­hall, Sur­rey, Eng­land.

Died: Feb­ru­a­ry 12, 1877, Monk­land, Her­e­ford­shire, Eng­land.

Buried: Monk­land, Her­e­ford­shire, Eng­land.


Baker was the son of Vice Ad­mir­al Hen­ry Lo­raine Bak­er and was born in London May 27, 1821.
Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1844. He took holy orders in
1844, and became vicar of Monkland, Herefordshire, in 1851, which benefice he held until his death.
He succeeded to the baronetcy in 1851. He is best known as editor in chief of Hymns Ancient
and Modern, to which he contributed several of his hymns. The language of his hymns is smooth and
simple, the thought is correct and sometimes very beautifully expressed. He died February 12, 1877.
This his­tor­ic hym­nal sold 60 mil­lion co­pies.
His friend John El­ler­ton re­port­ed that Bak­er’s dy­ing words were from his fa­mous hymn the twenty-third
Psalm, No. 136 in this book:

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.