About Hymns Ancient & Modern
- The history and traditions
In 1858, two clergymen were in conversation during a journey on the
old Great Western Railway and concluded that the Church of England
needed a corporate hymn book, moulded from the various small high
church collections available. One of them, Francis Murray, enlisted
the help of Sir Henry Baker and, before long, in 1861 the first
edition of Hymns Ancient & Modern was published by a committee,
called the Proprietors, chaired by Sir Henry.The first music editor
was William Monk who was said to have coined the phrase 'Ancient
More than 170 million copies later, the works of Baker and Monk
survive in the year 2000 publication of A&M, Common Praise.
2010 will see the latest in a long line of hymn books with the
publication of Sing Praise.
In 1975 the Proprietors formed a company limited by guarantee, and
a registered charity, with the objects of promoting, mainly through
publishing, the advancement of religion and supporting charities
and institutions connected with, or sympathetic to the ideals of,
the Church of England.