An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Bridges, Robert Seymour

(Oct. 23, 1844-Apr. 21, 1930). Poet and hymn composer. He was born in Walmer on the Island of Thanet, Kent. He was educated at Eton and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and studied medicine at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London. He gave up the practice of medicine in 1882 and settled at Yattendon, Berkshire, to devote himself to literature. His first volume, Shorter Poems, was published in 1873. He was made poet laureate in 1913. His most famous poem, Testament of Beauty, appeared in 1929. He sought to upgrade the quality of the poetry of hymnody and to bring into use some worthy continental tunes that were in meters not frequently used in English hymnody. He published, with the help of H. E. Woolridge, a small supplement of a hundred hymns, The Yattendon Hymnal, for use in his parish church. A number of these texts and tunes were published in The English Hymnal (1906), edited by Percy Dearmer and Ralph Vaughan Williams, and soon afterward in other hymnals. Seven of Bridges's translations are included in The Hymnal 1982, including “O gladsome Light” (36), “O sacred head, sore wounded” (168-169), and “All my hope on God is founded” (665).

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.