Born: October 7, 1810, Bloomsbury, Middlesex, England.
Died: January 12, 1871, Canterbury, Kent, England. For his own epitaph, he wrote: Deversorium viatoris proficientis Hierosolymam (
The inn of a pilgrim traveling to Jerusalem).
Buried: St. Martin’s, Canterbury, Kent, England.
Henry was the son of the curate at Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire.
Hey wrote the following in his Bible at age 16:
I do this day in the presence of God and my own soul renew my covenant with God and solemnly determine henceforth to become his and to do his work as far as in me lies.
Alford attended Ilminster Grammar School and Trinity College, Cambridge, and was ordained in 1833.
He was curate at Winkfield, Wiltshire, and Ampton, and vicar at Wymeswold, Leicestershire (where he served 18 years). He twice refused appointment as a bishop in the colonies.
In 1853, he went to Quebec Chapel, London. In 1857, he became dean of Canterbury Cathedral.
He edited the Contemporary Review (1866–70), and wrote numerous volumes on Homer, English poetry, and the Greek New Testament.
The calm of blessèd night
Is on Judæa’s hills;
The full-orbed moon with cloudless light
Is sparkling on their rills:
One spot above the rest
Is still and tranquil seen,
The chamber as of something blest,
Amidst its bowers of green.
Around that spot each way
The figures ye may trace
Of men-at-arms in grim array,
Girding the solemn place:
But other bands are there—
And, glistening through the gloom,
Legions of angels bright and fair
Throng to that wondrous tomb.
“Praise be to God on high
The triumph-hour is near;
The Lord hath won the victory,
The foe is vanquished here!
Dark Grave, yield up the dead—
Give up thy prey, thou Earth;
In death He bowed His sacred head—
He springs anew to birth!
Sharp was the wreath of thorns
Around His suffering brow;
But glory rich His head adorns,
And angels crown Him now.
Roll yonder rock away
That bars the marble gate;
And gather we in bright array
To swell the Victor’s state!’”
“Hail, hail, hail!
The Lord is ris’n indeed!
The curse is made of none avail;
The sons of men are freed!"
Henry Alford (1810–1871)