Edward Harwood (of Darwen) (1707–1787) was an English composer of hymns, anthems and songs. His setting of Alexander Pope's The Dying Christian (Vital spark of heav'nly flame) was enormously popular at one time and was widely performed at funerals.
Edward Harwood was born at Hoddlesden, near Darwen, Lancashire, in 1707. His early training was as a hand-loom weaver, but he subsequently became a professional musician in Liverpool. His first collection of psalmody, A set of hymns and psalm tunes, was published in London in 1781 and a second collection, entitled A Second Set of Hymns and Psalm Tunes/ was published at Chester in 1786. He died in 1787.
Harwood's setting of Pope's ode "Vital spark of heav'nly flame" was first published in… Go to person page >