Baker, Sir Henry Williams, an eminent English clergyman, son of Sir Henry L. Baker, born in London May 27, 1821; educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1844. He took holy orders in 1844, and became vicar of Monkland, Herefordshire, in 1851, which benefice he held until his death. He succeeded to the baronetcy in 1851. He is best known as editor in chief of Hymns Ancient and Modern, to which he contributed several of his hymns. Dr. Julian says: |Of his hymns four only are in the highest strain of jubilation, another four are bright and cheerful, and the remainder are very tender but exceedingly plaintive, sometimes even to sadness.| The language of his hymns is smooth and simple, the thought is correct and sometimes very beautifully expressed. He died February 12, 1877. His last audible words were a quotation of the third stanza of his own exquisite rendering of the twenty-third Psalm, No.136 in this book:
Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home rejoicing brought me.
O God of love, O King of Peace 705
O perfect life of love 155
The King of love my Shepherd is 136