Manuscript of Bishop Heber's From Greenland's Icy Mountains

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 Eng MS 95
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Physical Description
      Extent of unit of description: 388 x 275 mm. 1 volume; Binding: bound by Zaensdorf in full polished blue morocco, lettered in gilt on the upper cover and up the spine, gilt rules on boards and turn-ins, silk doublures and endleaves; matching drop-back box.

Scope and Content

Original manuscript of Reginald Heber's From Greenland's Icy Mountains, with a facsimile, various notes and press cuttings about the Bishop and his hymn mounted in the volume. The volume also includes an engraving of Bishop Reginald Heber.

Administrative / Biographical History

Reginald Heber (1783-1826) was an Anglican bishop of Calcutta and writer. Educated at Oxford, he joined the Church of England in 1807 and in 1823 he was elevated to become the Bishop of Calcutta with the whole of British India as his diocese. He travelled widely throughout his life, exploring Europe and the Indian subcontinent, and wrote travelogues of his experiences. However he also authored many religious works, poems and hymns, of which From Greenland's Icy Mountains (1811) and Holy, holy, holy are his most famous. He died while visiting the Indian city of Tiruchirapalli in 1826.

Heber wrote From Greenland's Icy Mountains during a visit to his father-in-law, Dr William Davies Shipley, for a service at Wrexham Church, where Shipley was to preach in behalf of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. It was first published in a collection of his hymns in the Anglo-American journal, Christian Observer, of that same year, being one of the first attempts to systematically write a set of hymns adapted to the Christian seasons.

Source: Michael Laird, 'Heber, Reginald (1783-1826)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press -

Custodial History

Thomas Raffles was a friend of Reginald Heber.