Born: July 13, 1769, Kellyville, Stradbally, Queens County, Ireland.
Died: May 14, 1855, Dublin, Ireland.
Buried: Near the Kelly family home at Kellyville, Ballyadams, Queens County (now County Laois).
Son of a judge, Kelly attended Trinity College (BA 1789) and planned to be a lawyer. After converting to Christ, though, his career plans changed to the ministry.
He became an Anglican priest in 1792, but eventually became one of the famous
He wrote over 760 hymns. Miller’s Singers of the Church (1869) says of him:
Mr. Kelly was a man of great and varied learning, skilled in the Oriental tongues, and an excellent Bible critic. He was possessed also of musical talent, and composed and published a work that was received with favour, consisting of music adapted to every form of metre in his hymn-book.
Naturally of an amiable disposition and thorough in his Christian piety, Mr. Kelly became the friend of good men, and the advocate of every worthy, benevolent, and religious cause. He was admired alike for his zeal and his humility; and his liberality found ample scope in Ireland, especially during the year of famine.