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).


Thomas was the son of judge Tho­mas Kel­ly and Fran­ces Hic­kie, and hus­band of Eli­za­beth Tighe.

He at­tend­ed Tri­ni­ty Col­lege (BA 1789), planned to be a law­yer, and was ad­mitted to London’s Mid­dle Tem­ple in 1786. Af­ter con­vert­ing to Christ, though, his ca­reer plans changed to the min­is­try.

He was ordained in the Church of Ire­land in 1792, but even­tu­al­ly be­came one of the fa­mous dis­sent­ing min­is­ters.

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.