John Henry Hopkins Jr.

John Henry Hopkins Jr.
28.10.1820 - 14.08.1891
Country:United States Of America


John Henry Hopkins, Jr. (October 28, 1820 – August 14, 1891) was an American clergyman and hymnist, most famous for composing the song "We Three Kings of Orient Are" in 1857.

Hopkins was born in Pittsburgh, the son of John Henry Hopkins, an Episcopal bishop. Hopkins graduated from the University of Vermont with an A.B. in 1839, and then a Master's Degree in 1845.[1] After a stint as a journalist, he graduated from the General Theological Seminary in 1850, and became a deacon, author, illustrator, and designer.[2] He was the seminary's first music teacher from 1855 to 1857, composed several hymns, and edited the Church Journal.

He wrote words and music to his most famous hymn, "We Three Kings", as part of a Christmas pageant for his nephews and nieces. It is suggested to have been written in 1857 but did not appear in print until his Carols, Hymns and Songs in 1863.[2] His nephew, John Henry Hopkins III, is credited with the music for "I Sing a Song of the Saints of God", a popular children's hymn in the Episcopal Church.

Hopkins served as rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He delivered the eulogy at the funeral of President Ulysses S Grant in 1885, and died in Hudson, New York.[1] He was buried next to his father at Bi­shop's House, Rock Point, Burlington, Vermont. Hopkin's nephew, Charles Filkins Sweet, wrote a biography of his uncle entitled "A Champion of the Cross, Being the Life of John Henry Hopkins, S.T.D."

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