In the 1800’s there was great tension between the Catholic and Anglican churches. Crown Him with Many Crowns is a wonderful example of how God takes the troubles of mankind and turns them around for good (Romans 8:28).
The song was originally penned in 1851 by Matthew Bridges (1800-1894), who once wrote a book condemning Roman Catholic theology, and then later converted to Catholicism. Bridges wrote six verses, based upon Revelations 19:12, “…and on His head were many crowns.”
Godfrey Thring (1823-1903) was a devout Anglican clergyman who was concerned that this popular hymn was allowing Catholic theology to be sung by protestant congregations. And so he wrote six new verses.
The 12 verses have been mixed and matched down through the years. Interestingly, of the six verses most commonly sung today, three were written by Bridges and three by Thring.