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Cotterill, Thomas, a clergyman of the Church of England, was born at Cannock, Staffordshire, December 4, 1779; graduated at Cambridge in 1801, and entered the ministry of the Church of England. In 1817 he became perpetual curate of St. Paul's, at Sheffield, where he spent the rest of his life, teaching a small school part of file time in connection with his pastoral work. It was here that he met and formed an intimate friendship with James Montgomery, the poet and hymn writer, who helped him in the preparation of a volume of hymns under the following title: A Selection of Psalms and Hymns for Public and Private Use, Adapted to the Services of the Church of England. So popular was this book that it reached its eighth edition by 1819. This work contained one hundred and fifty psalms and three hundred and sixty-seven hymns, of which Montgomery furnished fifty and Cotterill thirty-two, though the authors' names were not in any cases attached to the hymns. This book brought Cotterill into trouble with the ecclesiastical authorities, and was actually carried into the courts; but the suit was settled through the mediation of the archbishop, who revised Cotterill's selections and added several of his own, reducing the number to one hundred and forty-six. In spite of ecclesiastical influence, however, this "suppressed" volume continued to be used and to have widespread influence. "It did more," says Julian, "than any other collection in the Church of England to mold the hymn books of the next period; and nearly nine-tenths of the hymns therein, and usually in the altered form given them by Cotterill or James Montgomery, who assisted him, are still in common use in Great Britain and America." Cotterill died December 29, 1823. Montgomery's sorrow over his death found expression in the well-known hymn beginning "Friend after friend departs."

Help us, O Lord, thy yoke to wear 691
Our God is love; and all his saints 552
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