Edward John Hopkins

30 June 1818–4 February 1901

Edward J. Hopkins, in Charles William Pearce, The Life and Works of Edward John Hopkins (ca. 1910).

EDWARD JOHN HOPKINS, born in Westminster, June 30, 1818, became in 1826 a chorister of the Chapel Royal under William Hawes. On quitting the choir in 1833 he studied under Thomas Forbes Walmisley. In 1834 he was chosen organist of Mitcham Church, in 1838 organist of St. Peter’s, Islington, and in 1841 of St. Luke’s, Berwick Street. In 1843 he was appointed organist of the Temple Church, the musical service of which under his care acquired great reputation. As an accompanist he was quite unrivalled.

Hopkins composed many church services, anthems, chants, and psalm tunes. His anthems, “Out of the deep,” and “God is gone up,” obtained the Gresham prize medals in 1838 and in 1840, respectively. He was also composer of “May day” (duet) and “Welcome” (trio), and author of The Organ, its History and Construction, an excellent treatise published in conjunction with Dr. Rimbault’s History of the Organ in 1855; 2nd edit. 1870; 3rd edit. 1877. He edited Bennet’s Madrigals, and Weelkes’ First Set of Madrigals for the Musical Antiquarian Society, and the music portion of The Temple Church Choral Service.

He received the degree of Mus.D. from the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1882. He had sung at the coronation of William IV in 1831, and he lived to join the choir at the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, in 1897. On the completion of his fifty years’ service as organist of the Temple, in May 1893, he had a presentation from the Benchers. He retired in 1898, and died in London, Feb. 4, 1901. He was buried in Hampstead Cemetery.

by William H. Husk
Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 2 (1904)

Featured Tunes:


Collections of Hymns & Tunes:

Congregational Church Music (1856): WorldCat

Congregational Hymn and Tune Book, 3rd ed. (1862): WorldCat

The Temple Church Choral Service Book

1st edition (1867): WorldCat
2nd edition (1869): PDF
(1880): WorldCat

The Parochial Psalter and Hymn Book

1st edition (ca. 1870): WorldCat
New and enlarged (ca. 1880): WorldCat

A Collection of Hymns for the use of the People Called Methodists (1876): WorldCat

A Short Selection of Hymns; with Appropriate Tunes (ca. 1880): WorldCat

Hymnal of the Presbyterian Church in Canada (1881): WorldCat

The Free Church Hymn Book with Tunes (1882): WorldCat

Church Praise (1883): HathiTrust

The Scottish Psalter (1883): WorldCat

Congregational Church Hymnal (1887): WorldCat

Other Publications:

The Organ: Its History and Construction (with Edward Rimbault)

1st edition (1855): Archive.org
2nd edition (1870): Archive.org
3rd edition (1877): Google Books

“Organ,” A Dictionary of Music & Musicians, ed. George Grove, vol. 2 (1880), pp. 573-608: Archive.org

The Organ of the Temple Church in 1688 and 1888 (1888): WorldCat

The Organist and Choirmaster (1893–1901)


Hymn Tunes, ed. William H. Stocks (1901): WorldCat

Related Resources:

J. Spencer Curwen, “The Temple Church,” Studies in Worship Music, Series 1 (London: J. Curwen & Sons, 1880), pp. 163-166: Archive.org

“Dr. Edward John Hopkins,” Musical Times, vol. 38, no. 655 (1 Sept. 1897), pp. 585-591: PDF

W.H. Husk, “Edward John Hopkins,” Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. J.A. Fuller Maitland, vol. 2 (1904), p. 426: HathiTrust

James T. Lightwood, Hymn Tunes and Their Story (London: Charles H. Kelly, 1906), pp. 207-210: Archive.org

Charles William Pearce, The Life and Works of Edward John Hopkins (London: Vincent Music Company, ca. 1910): Archive.org

“Musicians of the Temple Church,” Bulletin, Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 5 (1961), p. 67.

Bernarr Rainbow, The Choral Revival in the Anglican Church 1839–1872 (London, 1970): WorldCat

Paul Westermeyer, “Edward John Hopkins,” Let the People Sing: Hymn Tunes in Perspective (Chicago: GIA, 2005), p. 235.

Peter Horton, “Edward John Hopkins: an organist and choirmaster re-examined,” RCO Journal, vol. 3 (2009), pp. 71-91, vol. 4 (2010), pp. 23-44.

Nicholas Temperley, “Edward Hopkins,” Grove Music Online:

Peter Horton, “Edward John Hopkins,” Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology:

J.C. Bridge & Nilanjana Banerji, “Edward John Hopkins,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: