When the British Bible Society celebrated its one-hundredth anniversary in London in November 1905, greetings were read from government leaders of many nations. The presiding officer, the Marquis of Northampton, said, “Now that we have read these addresses from earthy rulers, let us turn our minds to the King of Kings. We will sing, ‘Crown Him with Many Crowns.’ ”
The hymn of six stanzas was written in 1851 by Matthew Bridges. The idea of “many crowns” is suggested by the description in Revelation 19:12 of the one who sat upon the white horse: “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns.”
Twenty-three years after Bridges wrote the hymn, an Anglican minister, Godfrey Thring, wrote some additional stanzas that added more “crowns” to Bridges format - crowning Christ as Lord of life and Lord of light. Our hymnals today generally include four stanzas - two or three by Bridges and one or two by Thring.