John Newton was the son of a sea captain, and as a young man, he worked on slave ships. He later became a sea captain and made three voyages on different slave ships. In 1754, Newton had a severe stroke and gave up seafaring, but continued to invest in slaving operations. Some years after his conversion to Christianity, Newton became a prominent supporter of abolitionism. He was ordained as a Church of England cleric and served as parish priest at Olney, Buckinghamshire, and for two decades wrote hymns. In 1787, he and William Wilberforce founded the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade, more commonly called the Anti-Slavery Society. In 1807, shortly before his death, Newton witnessed the British Empire abolish the slave trade.
The words in Amazing Grace were written by the English Anglican Clergyman John Newton and William Cowper in 1772. It was first published in 1779 and titled, Faith’s Review and Expectation. At that time, there was no known accompanying music and it may have been chanted by the congregation. In the 19th century, it became popular in the United States where it was used by Methodist and Baptist preachers as part of their evangelizing. In 1835, American composer William Walker set it to the tune known as New Britain in a shape note format which is the version most frequently sung today. It is without a doubt the most famous of all folk hymns and is estimated to be performed over 10 million times annually.
This John Newton History Mug is part of our Author Series which includes many unique individuals.
The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history. The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton. He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia-tone. The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.
- Mugs are food and microwave-safe.
- To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
- Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.