Reginald Heber was born at Malpas, Cheshire, England, April 21, 1783 to a heritage of wealth and culture. He was an English clergyman, traveler, man of letters and hymn-writer who, after working as a country parson for 16 years, served as the Anglican Bishop of Calcutta until his sudden death at the age of 42.
Heber gained an early reputation at Oxford University as a poet. After graduation he expanded his view of the world by undertaking, at the height of the Napoleonic Wars, an extended tour of Scandinavia, Russia and central Europe. He was ordained in 1807, and took over his father’s old parish of Hodnet in Shropshire. He combined his pastoral duties with other church offices, hymn-writing, and more general literary work which included a critical study of the complete works of the 17th-century cleric Jeremy Taylor.