Biography of William Cowper (Institutionalised for Insanity)

Biography of William Cowper (Institutionalised for Insanity)

William Cowper (26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800) was an English poet and hymnodist. One of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of 18th century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside. In many ways, he was one of the forerunners of Romantic poetry. Samuel Taylor Coleridge called him “the best modern poet”, whilst William Wordsworth particularly admired his poem Yardley-Oak. He was a nephew of the poet Judith Madan.

After being institutionalised for insanity in the period 1763–65, Cowper found refuge in a fervent evangelical Christianity, the inspiration behind his much-loved hymns. He continued to suffer doubt and, after a dream in 1773, believed that he was doomed to eternal damnation. He recovered and wrote more religious hymns.

His religious sentiment and association with John Newton (who wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace”) led to much of the poetry for which he is best remembered, and to the series of Olney Hymns. His poem “Light Shining out of Darkness” gave English the phrase: “God moves in a mysterious way/His wonders to perform.”

He also wrote a number of anti-slavery poems and his friendship with Newton, who was an avid anti-slavery campaigner, resulted in Cowper being asked to write in support of the Abolitionist campaign. Cowper wrote a poem called ‘The Negro’s Complaint’ (1788) which rapidly became very famous, and was often quoted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 20th century civil rights movement. He also wrote several other less well known poems on slavery in the 1780s, many of which attacked the idea that slavery was economically viable.

Advertisements

About stack45ny

I will be sharing videos from my YouTube channel to this blog in the hope that others might be blessed and God glorified. Here is a description of my channel: A large video collection of classic hymns, contemporary Praise and Worship songs, and the works (audio books, devotional readings, and sermons) of men greatly used of God, such as: Charles Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, A.W. Tozer, A.W. Pink, John Owen, Oswald Chambers, Andrew Murray, John MacArthur, E.M. Bounds, John Bunyan, George Whitefield, and many more, covering topics on many aspects of the Christian life. May your time spent here be blessed. "He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30) https://www.youtube.com/user/stack45ny
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s