Hymn #219: Journey to Gethsemane

James Montgomery (1771-1854) wrote this hymn twice.  In 1820 he published one version in Thomas Cotterill’s Selection of Psalms and Hymns, and in 1825 he greatly revised it for another collection.  The revised text was more popular with the English Nonconformists and church in North America and is the basis for the version here.

James Montgomery was a journalist and editor of the Sheffield Iris for thirty-one years.  His views did not always please the Tory government, and he was imprisoned twice for printing unfavorable material.  Montgomery is recognized as one of England’s greatest hymnwriters.

Richard Redhead (1820-1907) composed this tune in 1853, calling it REDHEAD NO. 76 since it was the seventy-sixth tune he had written.  Others renamed it GETHSEMANE when it was used with the text by Montgomery.  Still other names for the tune are AGALON, HAZEN, and PETRA.

Richard Redhead was born in Harrow, Middlesex, England, on March 1, 1820.  He passionately supported the Oxford movement in favor of Roman Catholic renewal.  He was organist at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Paddington, England, for thirty years.  Redhead died April 27, 1907 at Hellingly, Sussex, England.