Godfrey Thring was born at Alford, Somerset, the son of the rector, Rev. John Gale Dalton Thring and Sarah née Jenkyns. He was brother of Theodore Thring (1816–91), Henry, Lord Thring (1818–1907) (a noted jurist and Parliamentary Counsel to the Treasury), Edward Thring (headmaster of Uppingham School) and John Charles Thring (a master at Uppingham School and deviser of the Uppingham Rules), and two sisters. The family is commemorated in Alford Church by carved choir seats in the chancel and two memorial windows.
He was educated at Shrewsbury School and graduated in 1845 from Balliol College, Oxford with a BA. He was ordained in the Anglican Church. In 1858 his father united the benefices of Alford and Hornblotton by an Act of Parliament styled the “Thrings Estate Bill” and Godfrey became his father’s curate. He built Hornblotton Rectory for Godfrey in 1867.
Godfrey commissioned the architect Thomas Graham Jackson to build new churches at Hornblotton and Lottisham, and became, in Jackson’s words, “one of my best and most valued friends”. Jackson created for him a remarkable little church, rich in the Arts and Crafts style and strikingly decorated in sgraffito work.
Thring died in 1903 and was buried in Shamley Green, Surrey, England.
Thring’s poetry books include Hymns Congregational and Others, 1866; Hymns and Verses, 1866; Hymns and Sacred Lyrics, 1874, A Church of England Hymn-book Adapted to the Daily Services of the Church throughout the Year, 1880; and a revised Church of England Hymn Book in 1882.
He wrote many hymns including “The radiant morn has passed away” and “Fierce raged the tempest o’er the deep”. Although Matthew Bridges (1800–94) wrote the original verses to “Crown Him with Many Crowns”, Thring added more verses. It is possible they met but there is no record of them having done so. Both men are usually listed as the writers.
Crown Him with Many Crowns — Bridges (1851):
Crown Him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon His throne;
Hark! how the heavenly anthems drowns
All music but its own:
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King
Through all eternity.
Crown Him the Virgin’s Son!
The God Incarnate born,—
Whose arm those crimson trophies won
Which now His brow adorn!
Fruit of the mystic Rose
As of that Rose the Stem:
The Root, whence mercy ever flows,—
The Babe of Bethlehem!
Crown Him the Lord of peace!
Whose power a scepter sways,
From pole to pole,—that wars may cease,
Absorbed in prayer and praise:
His reign shall know no end,
And round His pierced feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend
Their fragrance ever sweet.
Crown Him the Lord of love!
Behold His hands and side,—
Rich wounds, yet visible above,
In beauty glorified:
No angel in the sky
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his burning eye
At mysteries so bright!
Crown Him the Lord of years!
The Potentate of time,—
Creator of the rolling spheres,
Glassed in a sea of light,
Where everlasting waves
Reflect His throne,—the Infinite!
Who lives,—and loves—and saves.
Crown Him the Lord of heaven!
One with the Father known,—
And the blest Spirit, through Him given
From yonder triune throne!
All hail! Redeemer,—Hail!
For Thou hast died for me;
Thy praise shall never, never fail
Crown Him with Many Crowns — Thring (1874):
Crown Him with crowns of gold,
All nations great and small,
Crown Him, ye martyred saints of old,
The Lamb once slain for all;
The Lamb once slain for them
Who bring their praises now,
As jewels for the diadem
That girds His sacred brow.
Crown Him the Son of God
Before the worlds began,
And ye, who tread where He hath trod,
Crown Him the Son of man;
Who every grief hath known
That wrings the human breast,
And takes and bears them for His own,
That all in Him may rest.
Crown Him the Lord of light,
Who o’er a darkened world
In robes of glory infinite
His fiery flag unfurled.
And bore it raised on high,
In heaven-in earth-beneath,
To all the sign of victory
O’er Satan, sin, and death.
Crown Him the Lord of life
Who triumphed o’er the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife
For those He came to save;
His glories now we sing
Who died, and rose on high.
Who died, eternal life to bring
And lives that death may die.
Crown Him of lords the Lord,
Who over all doth reign
Who once on earth, the incarnate Word,
For ransomed sinners slain,
Now lives in realms of light,
Where saints with angels sing
Their songs before Him day and night,
Their God, Redeemer, King.
Crown Him the Lord of heaven,
Enthroned in worlds above;
Crown Him the King, to whom is given
The wondrous name of Love,
Crown Him with many crowns,
As thrones before Him fall.
Crown Him, ye kings, with many crowns,
For He is King of all.
More links to “Crown Him With Many Crowns”
- “Crown Him With Many Crowns,” vocalists unidentified
- Micheal W. Smith sings “Crown Him With Many Crowns”
- “Crown Him With Many Crowns” Tenore
- Westminster Abbey, “Crown Him With Many Crowns”
More About Bridges:
- Crowned With Righteousness! (psalmsofpraisewomensministries.wordpress.com)
- For the Lord’s Day – Higher Ground (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- Crown Him! (str.typepad.com)
- The Church Universal on Easter (str.typepad.com)
- It Is Finished (pilgrimpassing.com)
- Worship the Risen Christ by John Piper (rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com)