Hugh Stowell, M.A. son of Hugh Stowell, Rector of Ballaugh, near Ramsey, was born at Douglas, Isle of Man, Dec. 3rd.1799 and educated at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, B.A. 1822; M.A. 1826. He was ordained in 1823, and held the curacy of Shepscombe, Gloucestershire; and then of Holy Trinity, Huddersfield. Subsequently he was curate in charge of St. Stephens, Salford, and became Rector of Christ Church, Salford, in 1831. In 1845 he was appointed Hon. Canon in Chester Cathedral; in 1851 Chaplain to the Bishop of Manchester and Rural Dean of Eccles. He died at Salford, October 1865. His "Memoir", by the Rev. J.B. Marsden was published in 1868. Canon Stowell was a popular and effective preacher. His publications included "Tractarianism Tested, 1845"; "A Model for Men of Business, 1854"; "Pleasures of Religion and other poems. 1832"; "The Peaceful Valley, 1826"; and a large number of single sermons, pamphlets, etc. His selection of Psalms and Hymns was published as: "A Selection of Psalms and Hymns suited to the Services of the Church of England, by the Rev. H. Stowell, M.A. Manchester"; printed by Henry Smith, St. Anns Square, 1831. The selection contained 233 hymns. Canon Stowell was also a successful writer for children.
"From every stormy wind that blows", H. Stowell.(The Mercy Seat), appeared in "The Winter's Wreath, A Collection of Original Contributions in Prose and Verse (London and Liverpool) 1828", (Preface dated 1827) page 239 in 6 stanzas of 4 lines. This collection was an illustrated annual, begun in 1828 and continued to 1832 inclusive. In 1831, this hymn was rewritten and included in the first edition of the author's Psalms and Hymns, no. 216. This revised text is that which has been adopted by all editors of modern collections. It is given in full in the revised edition of the same selection of Hymns, 1877, p.168, with a return to the original of "Cold and still" instead of "Stiff and still" in stanza 6 as in the revised text of 1831. The hymn, often in 5 stanzas, is in very extensive use in all English-speaking countries.
It is no. 246 in 'Spiritual Songs' and in 1856, 1881, 1894, 1903 and 1928.