Berean Bible Heritage Church
November 21, 2017; 5:37 pm
Jerusalem Time

Edward John Hopkins

by Pastor Clinton Macomber

Edward Hopkins

Edward John Hopkins was born on June 30, 1818, in Westminster, London, and died on February 4, 1901, in London. His father was a clarinetist and bandmaster. His younger brother, John was organist of Rochester Cathedral from 1856 until his death; and his first cousin, John Larkin Hopkins was organist at Rochester from 1841 to 1856 and later Trinity College Cambridge.

He was thought of as one of England’s finest musicians of his time. He started his musical career in 1826, by singing in the choir at the Chapel Royal for eight years. Later he played the organ at three different churches.

Temple Church of London

Temple Church of London

In 1843, he became organist at the Temple Church in London, where he played for over half a century.

Temple Church of London organ pipes

Temple Church Organ Pipes

In 1844, he got full charge of the church music and organized a permanent choir, of which he was choirmaster. Following the major restoration of the church, John Calvert, a deputy lay-vicar of St. Paul’s was to provide a choir for the reopening of the church in 1842. The postponed service took place on November 20, with a little band of six choirboys and three gentlemen. In 1844, the Benchers appointed a permanent Choir Committee which has ever since been responsible for ordering the affairs of all the matters connected with the church.

Temple Church of London garden

Temple Church Garden

In 1869, Hopkins was one of the founders of the College of Organists.

In 1882, the Archbishop of Canterbury awarded him with an honorary Doctor of Music.

On the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 the Temple choristers led the procession onto the steps of St. Paul’s, Dr. Hopkins, at age 79, was among the tenors. This was one of his last engagements.

His farewell services were sung on Sunday, May 8, 1898. He composed all the music that was sung and played.

On New Year’s Day 1901, Dr. Hopkins became ill, and peacefully passed away on February 4.

Dr. Hopkins wrote the tunes to over 30 hymns:

 
  • “Cleanse Me,” music
  • “For the Beauty of the Earth,” music
  • Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,” music
  • “Spirit of God, Descent Upon My Heart,” music
  • “Ye Must Be Born Again,” music
 

Dr. Hopkins worked with a lot of text writers, men like William Harvergal.

Sources

Dr. Edward John Hopkins http://www.boychoirs.org/choirmasters/historic/hdir002.html

Osbeck, K. W. 101 Hymn Stories, Grand Rapids Mich.:Krugel Publications, 1982

Edward John Hopkins http://nethymnal.org/

Organists of the Temple Church http://www.templechurch.com/pages/choir/organists1.htm

Last updated Saturday, July 17, 2010 8:36 PM PST

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