Nicholas Brady (poet)

Nicholas Brady (28 October 1659 – 20 May 1726), Anglican divine and poet, was born in Bandon, County Cork, Ireland. He was the second son of Major Nicholas Brady and his wife Martha Gernon, daughter of the English-born judge and author Luke Gernon (little is known of her mother); his great-grandfather was Hugh Brady, the first Protestant Bishop of Meath. He received his education at Westminster School and at Christ Church, Oxford; he had degrees from Trinity College, Dublin (BA 1685, MA 1686, BD & DD 1699)[1]

Nicholas Brady, by Hugh Howard

Brady was a zealous promoter of the Glorious Revolution and suffered for his beliefs in consequence. When war broke out in Ireland in 1690, Brady, by his influence, thrice prevented the burning of the town of Bandon, after James II gave orders for its destruction following the Capture of Bandon. The same year he was employed by the people of Bandon to lay their grievances before the English parliament. He soon afterwards settled in London, where he obtained various preferments. At the time of his death, he held the livings of Clapham and Richmond.[2]

Brady's best-known work, written with his collaborator Nahum Tate, is New Version of the Psalms of David, a metrical version of the Psalms. It was licensed in 1696, and largely ousted the old Sternhold and Hopkins Psalter. His ode Hail! Bright Cecilia, based on a similar ode by John Dryden, was written in 1692 in honour of the feast day of Saint Cecilia, patron saint of musicians. It was set to music by Henry Purcell in 1697. Like Dryden, he also translated Virgil's Aeneid, and wrote several smaller poems and dramas, as well as sermons.[2]

He married Letitia Synge and had four sons and four daughters. Notable descendants of Nicholas include Maziere Brady, Lord Chancellor of Ireland.[3]


  1. ^ Burtchaell, George Dames; Sadleir, Thomas Ulick (eds), Alumni Dublinenses: a register of the students, graduates, professors and provosts of Trinity College in the University of Dublin (1593-1860), p. 93: Dublin, Alex Thom and Co, 1935.
  2. ^ a b   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Brady, Nicholas". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 375.
  3. ^ O'Hart, John Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition 1892

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