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POET OF THE DAY
Augustus Montague Toplady was an Anglican cleric and hymn writer. He was a major Calvinist opponent of John Wesley. He is best remembered as the author of the hymn "Rock of Ages". Three of his other hymns – "A Debtor to Mercy Alone", "Deathless Principle, Arise" and "Object of My First Desire" – are still occasionally sung today, though all three are far less popular than "Rock of Ages". Background and Early Life, 1740–55 Augustus Toplady was born in Farnham, Surrey, England in November 1740. His father, Richard Toplady, was probably from Enniscorthy, County Wexford in Ireland. Richard Toplady became a commissioned officer in the Royal Marines in 1739; by the time of his death, he had reached the rank of major. In May 1741, shortly after Augustus' birth, Richard participated in the Battle of Cartagena de Indias (1741), the most significant battle of the War of Jenkins' Ear (1739–1742), during the course of which he died, most likely of yellow fever, leaving Augustus' mother to raise the boy alone. Toplady's mother, Catherine, was the daughter of Richard Bate, who was the incumbent of Chilham from 1711 until his death in 1736. Catherine and her son moved from Farnham to Westminster. He attended Westminster School from 1750 to 1755. Trinity College, Dublin: 1755–60 In 1755, Catherine and Augustus moved to Ireland, and Augustus was enrolled in Trinity College, Dublin. Shortly thereafter, in August 1755, the 15-year-old Toplady attended a sermon ..
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