Amazing Grace

Today in History, January 1: 1773 – Minister John Newton of Olny, Buckinghamshire, England first uses a hymn that he wrote with William Cowper that would later become known as Amazing Grace. He was inspired to write the hymn about renewal and redemption by his own life. Before finding God and being ordained, he had been an insubordinate sailor (impressed into the Royal Navy) and then becoming a slave trader. The hymn would not be matched the tune “New Britain” in America until 1835.