Thomas Kelly

1769-1854; b. Kellyville, Queens’s County (Co. Loais); son of a judge of Common Pleas; ed. TCD; influenced by John Walker and the Hutchinsonians; Middle Temple, 1786 but changed law for the Church; ord. in the Church of Ireland 1782; gave sermons with others at St. Luke’s, Dublin, and was banned by Church of Ireland Archbishop on doctrinal grounds; preached irregularly at unconsecrated churches; m. Elizabeth Tighe, dg. of William Tighe, MP for Athboy - a supporter of Wesley, 1795, and moved to Athy, Co. Kildare;

established the Kellyites, an evangelical sect, 1802, quitting the Church of Ireland formally in 1803; expelled from TCD fellowship, 1804; one of his dgs. married Rev. Edward Wingfield, younger son of 4th Viscount Powerscourt; Kelly was the author of numerous num. hymns in the Church of Ireland Hymnal (1960, 1987 eds.), Nos. 366, 368, 378, 398, 460, incl. “We have no abiding city here” [No. 216; New Hymnal 514] - the phrase used by Michael Longley as an early collection title.


No entry in Dictionary of National Biography but see Wikipedia - online. This notice originated on details in the Church of Ireland New Hymnal.

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‘The Head that once was crowned with thorns/Is crowned with glory now,’ from Hymns on various passages of scripture (1820) [See Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.]

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