Today, November 1st, is All Saint's Day.
Benjamin Milgrove (1731-1810) was born and died in Bath.
Little is known of Milgrove’s life, except that he was precentor and organist of the Countess of Huntingdon’s Chapel at Bath, and the keeper of a fancy goods shop.
Wesley Milgate reports that Milford was a ‘proprietor’ or investor in John Wesley*’s New King Street Chapel in Bath to the tune of £100, a considerable sum at that time (Songs of the People of God, 1992, p. 293). He ceased to be a proprietor in 1787, perhaps because of the increasing distance between the Countess of Huntingdon and the Wesleyan Methodists. Milgrove was a considerable figure in fashionable Bath music-making.
The tune used is named "Mount Epharim," and it's attractive melody and harmony would probably not be too welcome today, as the tune is wide-ranging, and the word underlay, which isn't even given in English hymnals, is difficult to "figure our"! :-)
The text is by Richard Mant, D.D. He was educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Oxford (B.A. 1797, M.A., 1799). At Oxford he won the Chancellor's prize for an English essay: was a Fellow of Oriel, and for some time College Tutor. On taking Holy Orders he was successively curate to his father, then of one or two other places.
The text of the First Verse is as follows:
For all Thy saints, O Lord,
Who strove in Thee to live,
Who followed Thee, obeyed, adored,
Our grateful hymn receive.
Today the Church teaches us that all of us are saints, but the "traditional" All Saint's Day is really set aside to honor the more "well-known" saints. All Souls Day, which is tomorrow, is to honor all the Faithful Departed.
The score is attached below, as well as a portrait of Richard Mant, author of the text, and several photos of the Countess of Huntingdon’s Chapel at Bath, where Milgrove served as organist.