John Newton - Olney
Posted by: Norfolk12
N 52° 08.976 W 000° 42.054
30U E 657297 N 5780169
Quick Description: The tomb of John Newton who wrote Amazing Grace, in the corner of St Peter & Paul's Church.
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 2/29/2008 1:28:02 PM
Waymark Code: WM399X
In 1780 Newton left Olney to become rector of St. Mary Woolnoth, St. Mary Woolchurch, in London. There he drew large congregations and influenced many, among them William Wilberforce, who would one day become a leader in the campaign for the abolition of slavery. Newton continued to preach until the last year of life, although he was blind by that time. He died in London December 21, 1807. Infidel and libertine turned minister in the Church of England, he was secure in his faith that amazing grace would lead him home.
John Newton, who converted to evangelical Christianity in 1748, led an adventure-filled life as a master of a slave ship. He wrote of his experiences in his autobiography 'An Authentic Narrative' published in 1764.
Following retirement from the sea, Newton became Surveyor of the Tides in Liverpool, during which time he studied Greek, Hebrew and Theology. He married Mary Catlett in 1750: they had no children. Newton was ordained as a priest in the Church of England in 1764.
Newton accepted the curacy of Olney, where he lived until 1780 when he became Rector of St Mary Woolnoth in London.
John Newton is perhaps best known as the author of the world-famous hymn, Amazing Grace, which was one of the Olney Hymns written in collaboration with William Cowper. He also wrote some important theological works.
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev’d;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ’d!
Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promis’d good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call’d me here below,
Will be forever mine.
The origin of the melody is unknown. Most hymnals attribute it to an early American folk melody. The Bill Moyers special on “Amazing Grace” speculated that it may have originated as the tune of a song the slaves sang.
Newton was not only a prolific hymn writer but also kept extensive journals and wrote many letters. Historians accredit his journals and letters for much of what is known today about the eighteenth century slave trade. In Cardiphonia, or the Utterance of the Heart, a series of devotional letters, he aligned himself with the Evangelical revival, reflecting the sentiments of his friend John Wesley and Methodism.
details taken from website Mk heritage
Newton is also remembered for his work in the anti-slavery movement
Date of birth: 07/24/1725
Date of death: 12/21/1807
Area of notoriety: Literature
Marker Type: Tomb (above ground)
Fee required?: No
Web site: [Web Link]
Visiting Hours/Restrictions: Not listed
To post a visit log for waymarks in this category, you must have personally visited the waymark location. When logging your visit, please provide a note describing your visit experience, along with any additional information about the waymark or the surrounding area that you think others may find interesting.
We especially encourage you to include any pictures that you took during your visit to the waymark. However, only respectful photographs are allowed. Logs which include photographs representing any form of disrespectful behavior (including those showing personal items placed on or near the grave location) will be subject to deletion.