Thomas Hastings Photo

Thomas Hastings

Born: Oct 15, 1784

Death: May 15, 1872

Birthplace: Washington

Nationality: United States

Thomas Hastings

Date of Birth : Oct 15, 1784
Date of Death : May 15, 1872
Birth Place : Washington

Thomas Hastings was an American composer, primarily an author of hymn tunes of which the best known is "Toplady" for the hymn Rock of Ages. He was born to Dr. Seth and Eunice Hastings in Washington, Connecticut. He was a 3rd great-grandson of Thomas Hastings who came from the East Anglia region of England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634. Hastings moved to Clinton, New York, as a youth and began his career as a singing teacher, being largely a self-taught musician. Hastings compiled the hymn book Spiritual Songs with Lowell Mason in 1831, which included his most well-known hymn "Rock of Ages." He then moved to New York City, where he served as a choir master for 40 years, from 1832 to 1872. Hastings was a prolific composer, writing some 1000 hymn tunes over his career, and what Mason calls the "simple, easy, and solemn" style of his music remains a major influence on the hymns of the Protestant churches to this day.

Also known as


  • Hastings, Thomas
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