Posted by: rcottrill | May 28, 2010

Today in 1819 – Frederic Huntington Born

Frederic Dan Huntington served as a Unitarian clergyman in Boston, then becoming Professor of Christian Morals and University Preacher at Harvard, in 1855. In 1859 he joined the Episcopalians and became Bishop of Central New York in 1869. He died in 1904.

Huntington’s simple hymn, There’ll Be No Sorrow There, is a reminder of some of the blessings awaiting the believer in the heavenly kingdom.

There’ll be no night in heav’n,
In that blest world above;
No anxious toil, no weary hours;
For labour there is love.

There’ll be no sorrow there,
There’ll be no sorrow there,
In heav’n above, where all is love,
There’ll be no sorrow there.

There’ll be no grief in heav’n,
For life is one glad day,
And tears are those of former things
Which all have passed way.

There’ll be no sin in heav’n;
Behold that blessèd throng,
All holy in their spotless robes,
All holy in their song.

(2) Today in 1835 – Annie Hawks Born
Mrs. Hawks’s pastor for many years was another hymn writer, Robert Lowry, who encouraged her gift for writing poetry. She eventually wrote 400 hymns, mostly for Sunday Schools. Only one of them has remained in use, I Need Thee Every Hour–and isn’t that true of us all. We do need the Lord all the time. How blessed we are to have the promise of the Lord Jesus, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).

Of her song Annie Sherwood Hawks said:

I remember well the morning…when in the midst of the daily cares of my home…I was so filled with a sense of nearness of the Master that, wondering how one could live without Him either in joy or pain, these words, ‘I need Thee every hour,” were ushered into my mind….It was not until long years after, when [a] shadow fell over my way–the shadow of a great loss–that I understood something of the comforting words I had been permitted to write.

Her hymn begins:

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Saviour,
I come to Thee.

To learn about the first time this hymn was sung, see the second item under Today in 1850. And to read the story of how this song inspired the writing of another, see Today in 1901.


  1. Thank you for your blog. I’m looking for more info on Annie Hawks. I live in the town where she was born and buried, but most folks here never heard of her. I’d like to keep her memory alive, but I need more documentation. Do you know how I could retrieve some of the 400 hymns she wrote for Sunday School? Any info you can supply is appreciated. Thank you. Look forward to hearing from you.

    • Great to hear of your interest in Annie Hawks. Not sure I can be of a lot of help. You read of many of the old authors who wrote “hundreds” of hymns. But often they were published in books that only went through one printing and then were never seen again.

      You might try trolling the Net for used book sellers. See if you can come up with any of the following: Bright Jewels, Pure Gold, Royal Diadem, Welcome Tidings, Brightest and Best Temple Anthems, Glad Refrain, Good as Gold, Joyful Lays, Fountain of Song, Bright Array, and Tidal Wave. Believe it or not, those are all the kind of “Sunday School” books containing her songs!

      You say you live in the town where Hawks was born and buried–Hoosick, New York. Not sure where that is. But is there a suitable memorial to her there? A statue, or engraved memorial stone of some kind? She deserves it on the merits of “I Need Thee Every Hour” alone. See if you can stir up some interest. Do you have a local museum? If so, they should have some things related to her life. What about tracking down relatives? Church records or town records might help with that.

      I do share your frustration. I’ve contacted churches, historical societies and the like, expecting to find more information…and come up empty. Just a couple of weeks ago I contacted a church to see if they could tell me what the middle initial of a hymn writer stood for. They couldn’t. And he was quite recently the pastor of their church!

      Anyway, sorry for the ramble. I wish you well in your search. And if you find out more, I’d love to hear from you.

      • You commented Mrs. Hawks being born and burried in Hoosick, NY that you weren’t “sure where that is”. Let me clarify. Hoosick is a small town about 4 miles from the Vermont State Border on NY route 7 approximately 35 miles east of Albany, NY. If you travel East on Rt. 7 to the only traffic light in Hoosick and turn right on County Rt. 95 you need only proceed about 1/2 mile to the Hoosick Rural Cemetary on the right. Go through the walk through gate and to the grass covered drive about 50 feet in and follow that drive to the right and about half way to the rear of the cemetary on the left of the drive (no markers to the right of drive) you will find what I consider to be a fine large marker clearly depicting it to be the grave of Annie Sherwood Hawks and recognizing her as composer of “I need Thee every hour”. Which by the way I enjoyed singing just today at the funeral of a young friend of my Granddaughter. I took delight in telling her and the Pastor of the Church where the Service was held about my “famous neighbor”. Hope this helps to clarify things a little. Bill Ely

      • Thanks for the information on Hoosick, New York. If I’m ever over that way, I’d like to look up the town and the grave site. God bless.

    • This wouldn’t be Carlton’s Corrine would it?

  2. I am the great grandson of Annie Hawks. There is an interesting family legend that surrounds my great grandmother’s well-known hymn. To my knowledge I can’t be certain that the story has ever been verified.

    • I’m sure I’m not in a position to verify the family legend, but would be interested in hearing it. Thanks for writing.

  3. […] (3) Today in 1872 – I Need Thee Every Hour sung On this date in 1872, Annie Hawks’s hymn I Need Thee Every Hour was sung for the very first time by the 3,000 delegates at the National Baptist Sunday School Convention, in Cincinnati, Ohio. It became an instant favourite. (For more about Mrs. Hawks and her hymn, see the second item under Today in 1819.) […]

  4. […] Wordwise Hymns The Cyber […]


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