August 23, 1744, Hawkstone, Shropshire, England.

April 11, 1833, Surrey Chapel House.

Surrey Chapel, London, England.


Hill was educated at Shrewsbury Grammar School, Eton, and St. John’s College, Cambridge (BA 1769). Taking Holy Orders, he was for a time Curate of Kingston, near Taunton. Leaving there, but without renouncing his Orders or his connection with the Church of England, he served as an itinerant preacher for twelve years, mostly in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Somersetshire, and London. At Wotton-under-Edge, he built a chapel where he often preached. He also opened the Surrey Chapel in London in 1783; it was there he ministered for nearly 50 years.

Hill took great interest in evangelism and missions, and helped found the London Missionary Society. He was also on the first committee of the Religious Tract Society. The author of several prose works, Hill compiled the following hymnals:

Except for his 1790 children’s Hymns, his works do not show the authorship of the individual hymns. Those in the list below are generally attributed to him.

  1. Come, Holy Ghost, the Comforter
  2. Cast Thy Burden on the Lord
  3. Dear Friend of Friendless Sinners
  4. Exalted High at God’s Right Hand
  5. Happy the Children Who Betimes
  6. Lord, We Raise Our Feeble Voices
  7. My Parents Gave Me, Lord
  8. We Sing His Love, Who Once Was Slain
  9. When Jesus First at Heaven’s Command
  10. With Heavenly Power, O Lord Defend
  11. Ye That in His Courts Are Found