Psalters Online


Order of Contents

Psalters  120+
.        1500’s  16+
.        1600’s  42+
.        1700’s  14
.        1800’s  45+
.        1900’s  4
.         2000’s  1

Sing the KJV  1
Chanting  14
Latin  8+

Evaluations  4

.     Of Psalters  12+
.     Of Composers  2
.     Of Psalm Tunes  7

Lists of Printed Psalters  6+




Please peruse the many online psalter versions that God has graced us with through history.

If you need a place to start for singing the Psalms, start with the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter: The Psalms of David in Meter  Buy  It is akin to the King James Version in its literalness, language and widespread use and influence throughout history.

For a faithful psalter, with more updated language, try the Free Church of Scotland’s, Sing Psalms (2003).



Online Psalters



Coverdale, Myles – Ghostly Psalms & Spiritual Songs  (1538)  in Remains (Parker Society, 1846)  ToC  Includes Psalms 12, 2, 46, 124, 137, 128, 51, 130, 25, 67, 14, 147, 133.

Coverdale (1488–1569) was an English ecclesiastical reformer chiefly known as a Bible translator, preacher, Bishop of Exeter, proto-puritan and exile.

Calvin, John – The Strasbourg Psalter  1539

The was the first Reformation psalter ever.

Wyatt, Thomas & Harington, John – Certain Psalms Chosen out of the Psalter of David, commonly called the Seven Penitential Psalms, drawn into English meter by Sir Thomas Wyat Knight, whereunto is added a prolage of the author before every Psalm, very pleasant and profitable to the godly reader   London, published posthumously in 1549, which means that this English psalter is older than that of Crowley and Sternhold & Hopkins.

‘During the period of the English Reformation, many other poets besides Sternhold and Hopkins wrote metrical versions of some of the psalms.  The first was Sir Thomas Wyatt, who in around 1540 made verse versions of the six penitential Psalms.’ – Wiki

Wyatt was known as both ‘the Father of English poetry and English metrical Psalmody.’  (Patricia Thomson)

Wyatt’s “rendering of Psalm 32 includes the phrase ‘Surprised by joy,’ which later became the title of a poem by William Wordsworth and a work by C.S. Lewis.  He was likely a suitor or lover of Queen Anne Boleyn.  His son, Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger was executed in the Tower of London by Bloody Mary for leading a Protestant revolt known as Wyatt’s Rebellion on behalf of Lady Jane Grey’s claim to the throne.” – Andrew Myers

Crowley, Robert – The Psalter of David newly translated into English meter in such sort that it may the more decently, and with more delight of the mind, be read and sung of all men.  Whereunto is added a note of four parts, with other things, as shall appear in the epistle to the reader  (London, 1549)

This was the first complete English metrical psalter and the first to include musical notation.

‘The music provided in Crowley’s psalter is similar to the Gregorian tones of the Latin Sarum Rite psalter, and it can be found in Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians.  A single note is given for each syllable in each verse, in keeping with Archbishop Thomas Cranmer’s mandate for the reformed Edwardian liturgy.  The goal was to emphasize simplicity and to encourage attentiveness to what was being sung by omitting complex vocal ornamentation.’ – Wiki

Sternhold & Hopkins

Sternhold, Thomas & Hopkins, John – All such Psalms of David as T. Sternehold did in his life time draw into English Meter  1551, London.  Sternhold died in 1549.  Here is a 1533 edition

1562  Sternhold, Thomas, & Hopkins, John – The whole book of Psalms collected into English meter by T. Starnhold, I. Hopkins, and others, conferred with the Hebrew, with apt notes to synge them with all; faithfully perused and allowed according to the order appointed in the Queen’s Majesty’s injunctions ; very meet to be used of all sorts of people privately for their solace & comfort, laying apart all ungodly songs and ballades, which tend only to the nourishing of vice, and corrupting of youth  1562  London

Sternhold, Thomas, Hopkins, John & Whittingham, William – The Whole Book of Psalms collected into English meter by Thomas Sternhold, John Hopkins, W. Whittingham and others, conferred with the Hebrew with apt notes to sing them withal; set forth and allowed to be sung in all churches, of all the people together before and after morning and evening prayer, as also before and after sermons, and moreover in private houses for their godly solace and comfort, laying apart all ungodly songs and ballads, which tend only to the nourishing of vice, and corrupting of youth  1578  London

Alison, Richard, Sternhold, Thomas, Hopkins, John – The Psalms of David in meter the plain song being the common tune to be sung and played upon the lute, orpharyon, citterne or base viol, severally or altogether, the singing part to be either tenor or treble to the instrument, according to the nature of the voice, or for four voices: with ten short tunes in the end, to which for the most part all the Psalms may be usually sung, for the use of such as are of mean skill, and whose leisure least serves to practice  1599  London

Hunnis, William – Certain Psalms Chosen out of the Psalter of David & Drawn forth into English Meter  (London, 1550)

The Genevan Psalter  Music  1542-62  The Genevan psalter was compiled mainly under the supervision of John Calvin (d. 1564).  The English translation here linked by the Canadian-American Reformed Churches (1984) is not a translation of the French psalms, but its own independent English translation.  See also the New Genevan Psalter  Buy  by George van Popta, 2015.  See also the Genevan Psalter website which also has English renderings that fit the Genevan tunes also (though, again, it is not a translation of the French).  See also the various versifications of psalms set to the Genevan tunes by contemporary authors.

Sing the Genevan jigs!  There are many histories of this hugely significant psalter online.  Here is Wiki.

‘…from the French-Genevan Psalter (1551), we have four tunes — Old 134th (or St. Michael), Old 100th, Geneva and Old 124th.   The name associated with all four tunes is Louis Bourgeois, a very fine musician of his time.’ – Isobel Scott  

Whittingham, William et. al. – Psalms of David in English Meter  (Edinburgh, 1565)  in the Works of John Knox, vol. 6

Only includes Ps. 23, 24, 57, 100, 124, 145.

Parker, Matthew – The Whole Psalter translated into English Metre…  (London, John Daye, 1560)  540 pp.  The front title page speaks of only the first 50 psalms, but the volume contains all 150 Psalms.

“This is Archbishop [Matthew] Parker’s celebrated version, of which only about eight other copies are known … it has been supposed that the Archbishop did not design it for sale, but for present only.” – from Dealer’s catalog description

Day, John – The Whole Book of Psalms  1562

This contained sixty-five psalm tunes.

Wode, Thomas – The St. Andrew’s Psalter  1560’s Scotland

‘These harmonisations of 106 metrical psalms from the Anglo-Genevan Psalm Book and other songs created the ‘gold standard’ for post-Reformation devotion and worship in Scotland.’ – The Wode Psalter at the Univ. of Edinburgh

See also David Laing’s Account of the Scottish Psalter.

Samuel, William – An Abridgement of all the canonical books of the Old Testament written in Sternhold’s meter  1569  London

T.R. – The Catechism in meter for the easier learning, and better remembering of those principles of our faith, which we ought most familiarly to be acquainted withal, for the proof of those things, which I have not quoted, I refer you to the usual catechism; only in the margin I have quoted those things which I have added for plainness; the verse will agree with most of the tunes of the Psalms of David, and it is divided into parts, that each part may be song by itself 1583 London

Sidney, Philip – The Sidney Psalter  (d. 1586)

‘Sir Philip Sidney made verse versions of the first 43 psalms.  After he died in 1586, his sister, Mary Sidney Herbert, the Countess of Pembroke, completed the translation of the final two-thirds of the psalter.  Together they used a dazzling array of stanza forms and rhyme schemes—as many as 145 different forms for the 150 psalms.  ‘The Sidney Psalter’ was not published in its complete form until the twentieth century, but it was widely read in manuscript, and influenced such later poets as John Donne and George Herbert.’ – Wiki

Este, Thomas – The Whole Booke of Psalms  1592  Also known as: The Whole Book of Psalms, with their wonted tunes, harmonized in four parts by the principal musicians of the reign of Elizabeth; and first published by Thomas Este, A.D. 1592  Here is the 2nd edition of 1604

‘From it we have the tunes Cheshire and Winchester.   Thomas Este was one of the greatest music publishers, publishing much of the Elizabethan music of the time as well as Metrical Psalm tunes.’ – Isobel Scott  




Dod, Henry – Certain Psalms of David, heretofore much out of use because of their difficult tunes.  The number whereof are contained in the page following. Reduced into English meter better fitting the common tunes  1603  Edinburgh

Ainsworth, Henry – The Book of Psalms, Englished both in prose and meter with annotations, opening the words and sentences, by conference with other Scriptures  first published in 1612, later in 1644, Amsterdam

See Alice Earle’s review, ‘The Psalm Book of the Pilgrims’, 1892.

Church of Scotland – The 150 Psalms of David in Scottish Meter, after the form that they are used to be sung in the Kirk of Scotland  (Edinburgh, 1615)

‘The 1615 edition contained some of the best known Common tunes — among them Dunfermline, French and Martyrs.   These Common tunes were written for those who could not read, and they would learn the tunes by ear.’ – Isobel Scott

Sandys, Edwin & Robert Tailour – Sacred Hymns.  Consisting of Fifty select psalms of David and others, paraphrastically turned into English verse.  And by Robert Tailour, set to be sung in five parts, as also to the viol, and lute or orph-arion.  Published for the use of such as delight in the exercise of music in her original honor  1615  London

Ravenscroft, Thomas – The Whole Book of Psalms: with The Hymns Evangelical and Songs Spiritual  1621

Church of Scotland – Psalter  1625

Bacon, Francis – The Translation of Certain Psalms into English Verse by the Right Honorable, Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount St. Alban  1625  London

This work is not a translation so much as a paraphrase.

The King James Psalter, 1631

See an introduction to this psalter and King James’ later 1636 psalter by Andrew Myers, The King James Psalter (2009, 6 paragraphs).  William McMillan also wrote two articles on these psalters: ‘The Metrical Psalter of King James VI and its Connection with the One Presently in Use’, Part 1, Part 2.

The 150 Psalms of David, in Scots’ Meter, after the Form that they are Used to be Sung in the Kirk of Scotland  (Edinburgh, 1632)

Wither, George – The Psalms of David translated into Lyric-verse, according to the scope, of the original.  And illustrated, with a short argument, and a brief prayer, or meditation; before, and after, every Psalm  1632  Amsterdam(?)

See also Wither’s A Preparation to the Psalter  1619  180 pp.  which gives background on the psalms and singing the psalms.

Church of Scotland – The Scottish Metrical Psalter  1634

Church of Scotland – The Scottish Metrical Psalter  1635

‘There then followed a number of editions of the Scottish Psalter…  There were editions in 1625 and 1634, but it was the 1635 edition that is most notable.  From this excellent Psalm Book we get the tunes Glenluce, London New, Wigtown and Duries 124th.  In this Psalter there are tunes of three categories.  (1) Proper Tunes: which were tunes specifically intended for individual psalms as the Reformers wanted each psalm to have its own tune.  Hence we have Old 100th and Old 124th; (2) Common Tunes — these were as the 1615 edition; and Tunes in reports — These were more challenging to sing as there was some imitation between the parts. (3) Tunes in reports include Aberfeldy and Bon Accord.  This edition seemed to represent the peak of psalmody.  In fact the first Psalm Book to be published with any music had only twelve tunes!’  – Isobel Scott

King James VI – The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments; and other parts of Divine Service for the use of the Church of Scotland.  With a Paraphrase of the Psalms in Meter by King James VI, Edinburgh  1712, from the copy in Edinburgh in 1637 (1636)

See an introduction to this psalter and King James’ earlier 1631 psalter by Andrew Myers, The King James Psalter (2009, 6 paragraphs).  William McMillan also wrote two articles on these psalters: ‘The Metrical Psalter of King James VI and its Connection with the One Presently in Use’, Part 1, Part 2.

Sandys, George – A Paraphrase upon the Divine Poems  1638  All 150 psalms in meter

New England Puritans – The Bay Psalm Book  Evans  1640

This was the first book printed in the Americas and was the product of a group of 30 translators including Richard Mather, John Eliot and Thomas Mayhew.

Rous, Francis – The Psalms of David set forth in English Meter  (London, 1643)

Barton, William – The Book of Psalms in Meter Close and Proper to the Hebrew, Smooth and pleasant for the meter, plain and easy for the tunes: with musical notes, arguments, annotations, and index: fitted for the ready use and understanding of all good Christians  1644  London

Vaughan, Robert – The Psalter of David with Titles and Collects According to the Matter of Each Psalm  (Oxford: Leonard Lichfield, 1644)

Boyd, Zacharie – The Psalms of David in Meter  1646  See also this 1648 edition

Boyd was a Scot.

Taylor, Jeremy – The Psalter of David with Titles and Collects according to the matter of each Psalm: whereunto is added Devotions for the help and assistance of all Christian people, in all occasions and necessities  1647

Church of Scotland – The Psalms of David in Meter  1650  Here is an original edition

This is the classic psalter from this period; it is something of the King James Version of psalters.  This production was the completed form of the psalter that was commissioned to be produced and worked on by the Westminster Assembly.  The Church of Scotland took over the work and completed it.  It only has the 150 Psalms, no other Bible songs or hymns.

Dunster, Henry & Richard Lyon – The Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs of the Old and New Testament, faithfully translated into English metre, for the use, edification, and comfort, of the saints, in public and private, especially in New-England  1651  Here is a 1695 printing.  The ninth edition in 1698 has some differences.

King, Henry – The Psalms of David: from the new translation of the Bible turned into meter: to be sung after the old tunes used in the churches  1651  London

King, Henry – The Psalms of David from the new translation of the Bible turned into meter to be sung after the old tunes used in the churches: unto which are newly added the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, the Ten commandments, with some other ancient hymns  1654  London

White, John – David’s Psalms in Meter: Agreeable to the Hebrew, to be sung in usual tunes.  To the benefit of the churches of Christ  1655  London

Woodford, Samuel – A Paraphrase upon the Psalms of David  1667

Smyth, Miles – The Psalms of King David Paraphrased, and Turned into English Verse according to the Common Metre as they are Usually Sung in Parish Churches  1668  390 pp.

Roberts, Francis – The Key of the Bible, unlocking the richest treasury of the Holy Scriptures…  whereunto are added the metrical version of the whole book of Hymns or Praises, viz. the Book of Psalms, p. 137 ff.  1675  The metrical version of each psalm is laced in with his commentary on each psalm.

Patrick, John – A Century of Select Psalms & Portions of the Psalms of David especially those of praise turned into meter, and fitted to the usual tunes in parish churches, for the use of the Charter-House, London  (London, 1679)

Coleraine, Hugh Hare, Baron & Loredano, Giovanni Francesco – La Scala Santa, or, A Scale of devotions musical and gradual being descants on the fifteen Psalms of Degrees, in metre: with contemplations and collects upon them, in prose, 1670  Ref  1681  London

Goodridge, Richard – The Psalter, or, Psalms of David paraphrased in verse set to new tunes and so designed that by two tunes only the whole number of psalms (four only excepted) may be sung, one of which tunes is already known (being the usual tune of the 100th psalm): the other tunes only are new, but anyone of them being learned, all the other psalms may be sung by that one only tune: as on the contrary any one psalm may be sung by all the new tunes, so that a greater facility for those who are less able to sing, or a greater variety for those who are more able, cannot reasonably be desired or afforded  (Oxford, 1684)

Ford, Simon – A New Version of the Psalms of David: together with all the church-hymns, into meter, smooth, plain and easy to the most ordinary capacities: and yet as close to the original languages, and the last and best English translation, as the nature of such a work will well permit  (London, 1688)

Baxter, Richard – Mr. Richard Baxter’s Paraphrase on the Psalms of David in metre with other hymns  d. 1691, 1692

Patrick, John – The Psalms of David in Meter fitted to the Tunes used in Parish-Churches  (London, 1694)

Playford, John – The Whole Book of Psalms with the Usual Hymns and Spiritual Songs together with all the Ancient and Proper Tunes sung in Churches, with Some of Later use, Composed in Three Parts: Cantus, Medius and Bassus…  1695  300 pp.

Brady, Nicholas & Tate, Nahum – A New Version of the Psalms of David  1696/8, 1733

Wormington, Charles – Some select psalms of David turned a-new into meter, and suited to the common tunes sung in parish churches: with a divine Pindarique ode on the redemption of man  1697  Dublin

A Divine in the Church of England – An essay towards the rendering the first thirty Psalms of David in meter (of the old version of Thomas Sternhold, and John Hopkins and others) Less obnoxious to exceptions than it has been, by moderate alterations and amendments.  And published, as a specimen of the whole book done after the same manner, now in the hands of the author  1697  London

Mather, Cotton – The Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs of the Old & New Testament Faithfully Translated Into English Meter  1698

Phillips, John – Daveidos: or, a specimen of some of David’s Psalms in English Meter, with remarks upon the late translators, by Mr. John Phillips  1698  London

Barton, William & Smith, Thomas – The Psalms of David in Meter.  Newly translated with amendments.  By William Barton, M.A. And set to the best Psalm-tunes, in two parts, viz. treble and bass; with brief instructions for the understanding of the same; together with a table of the Psalms, and names of the tunes to each Psalm. By Thomas Smith. The basses, with the table, are placed at the latter end of the book  1698  Dublin

Milbourne, Luke – The Psalms of David in English meter translated from the original and suited to all the tunes now sung in churches, with the additions of several new by Luke Milbourne  1698  London

Hunt, Henry – A Collection of Some Verses out of the Psalms of David suited to several occasions. Composed in two parts, cantus and bassus: being [the] common tunes to the Psalms in Metre, now used in parish-churches.  To which is added, some instructions for singing of them. Collected for Mr. Henry Hunt, for the use of his scholars, and such as delight in psalmody  1698  London




Darby, Charles – The Book of Psalms in English Metre  1704

Bruce, Thomas – [Psalter of an unknown title]  1712

‘…in the Church, the twelve tunes mentioned in the last article seem to have been the complete repertoire.  One step forward was that they were harmonized.  Attempts were made to try and improve general musical standards in church singing.  In a publication of 1726, a schoolmaster, Thomas Bruce, included explanatory notes along with the twelve tunes.  He also included eight tunes which had not been published before.  They did not gain acceptance!’ – Isobel Scott

Henry, Matthew – Family Hymns Gathered Mostly out of the Translations of David’s Psalms   d. 1714

For an introduction to this, see Andrew Myers’ Matthew Henry’s Family Psalter (6 paragraphs).

Mather, Cotton – Psalterium Americanum. The Book of Psalms, in a translation exactly conformed unto the original; but all in blank verse: Fitted unto the tunes commonly used in our churches. Which pure offering is accompanied with illustrations, digging for hidden treasures in it; and rules to employ it upon the glorious and various intentions of it: Whereunto are added, some other portions of the sacred Scripture, to enrich the cantional   1718

Pike, Samuel – The Book of Psalms in Meter, fitted to the various Tunes in Common Use, wherein Closeness to the Text and Smoothness of the Verse are preferred to Rhyme  1751  London

Barnard, John – A New Version of the Psalms of David; fitted to the Tunes used in the Churches: with several hymns, out of the Old, and New, Testament  1752

Wheatland & Silvester – The Psalms of David Translated into Heroic Verse in as Literal a Manner as Rhyme and Metre will Allow, with Notes  1754  390 pp.

Cradock, Thomas – A Poetical Translation of the Psalms of David from Buchanan’s Latin into English Verse  1754  200 pp.

George Buchanan (1506–1582) was a Scottish historian and humanist scholar.  He was also one of the greatest Latin writers ever.  He composed the Psalter into Latin verse; here is a translation.

Moore, Thomas – [Work of an Unknown Title]  1755

‘…in 1755, the [town] Corporation of Glasgow [Scotland] engaged a Thomas Moore to [help reform church singing]…  He was a well-known teacher of Psalmody in Manchester [England].  He also compiled books of Psalm tunes. From one of his books comes the tune Glasgow which you will find in your Psalmody.  Moore became precentor in Blackfriars Church in Glasgow.’ – Isobel Scott

The Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs of the Old and New Testament faithfully translated into English Metre, being the New England Psalm Book Revised and Improved by an Endeavor after yet a Nearer Approach to the Inspired Original and the Rules of Poetry…  Boston  1758  370 pp.

Merrick, James – The Psalms Translated or Paraphrased in English Verse  1766  362 pp.

Maxwell, James – A New Version of the Whole Book of Psalms in Metre… All Fitted to the Common Psalm Tunes and Adapted to the Present State of the Christian Church  1773  430 pp.

Boswell, Robert – The Book of Psalms in Metre from the Original, compared with many versions in different languages  1784  370 pp.

Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA – The Whole Book of Psalms in Metre with Hymns suited to… Public Worship  1793  210 pp.




Lord Aston – Select Psalms in Verse with Critical Remarks by Bishop Lowth and Others  1811  320 pp.

This work is a collection of psalm renditions by numerous previous, worthy composers.  Near the beginning there are ‘Biographical Notices of Those who have Translated the Whole Book of Psalms’.

Goode, William – An Entire New Version of the Book of Psalms, in which an attempt is made to accommodate them to the Worship of the Christian Church in a variety of measures now in general use  1816  500 pp.

Anonymous – The Book of Psalms in Verse… taken from the words of Different Writers on the Psalms, but Chiefly from Bishop Horne’s Commentary  1820  London 

Mant, Richard – The Book of Psalms in an English Metrical Version, founded on the basis of the Authorized Bible Translation and Compared with the Original Hebrew  1824

*** – “A bold version, with important notes.  In this instance we confess that there may be real poetry in a metrical version, and though the flame does not in each composition burn with equal brilliance, yet in some verses it is the true poetic fire.  Mant is no mean writer.” – Spurgeon

Pa, Margaret – The Christian Psalter, a New Version of the Psalms of David, Calculated for all Denominations of Christians  1828  370 pp.

A fair amount of liberty is used in embellishing the text.

Marsh, Edward G. – The Book of Psalms translated into English Verse, and Illustrated with Practical and Explanatory Comments  1832  540 pp.

“Contains nothing [in the comments] of any consequence to an expositor, though the verse is considerably above the average of such productions.” – Spurgeon

Eadie, John – Translation of Buchanan’s Latin Psalms into English Verse  1836  Glasgow

This John Eadie (1810-1876) was the well-known Scottish presbyterian Bible commentator.

George Buchanan (1506–1582) was a Scottish historian and humanist scholar.  He was also one of the greatest Latin writers ever.  He composed the Psalter into Latin verse; here is a translation.

Drake, Nathan – The Harp of Judah, or, Songs of Sion: being a metrical translation of the Psalms constructed from the most beautiful parts of the best English versions  1837

Rusling, J. – Portions of the Psalms of David, and other Part of Scripture in Verse, Designed as a Companion for the Christian  Philadelphia 1838  268 pp.

Keble, John – The Psalter or Psalms of David in English Verse… Adapted for the most part to Tunes in Common Use  Oxford  1839  425 pp.

Scott, Robert Allan – Metrical Paraphrases of Selected Portions of the Book of Psalms, generally adapted to the Purposes of Public Worship or Private Devotion  1839  180 pp.

Hare, Julius Charles – Portions of the Psalms in English Verse: Selected for Public Worship  1839  280 pp.

Burgess, George – The Book of Psalms Translated into English Verse  1840  290 pp.

Mainzer, Joseph – The Standard Psalmody of Scotland  1842-7

‘Joseph Mainzer taught sight singing as well as other musical skills in Paris and then throughout Britain — he even got as far as Strathpeffer!  He lived in Edinburgh [Scotland] from 1842 to 1847 and lectured and taught enthusiastically. While there he published the ‘Standard Psalmody of Scotland’ and reintroduced many old tunes from the 1564 Psalter.  We have his tune Mainzer in our Psalm Book [‘The Scottish Psalmody’ of the Free Church of Scotland].’ – Isobel Scott

Montagu, M. – The Seven Penitential Psalms in Verse, being Specimens of a New Version of the Psalter Fitted to the Tunes Used in Churches  1844  150 pp.

Anonymous – A Metrical Version of the Hebrew Psalter with Explanatory Notes  1845  280 pp.

ed. Hately, T.L. – The Psalmody of the Free Church of Scotland  1845

‘T.L. Hately was born in Greenlaw, Berwickshire and was one of the few precentors who came out with the Free Church at the Disruption in 1843.  He was precentor at the Free High Church, Edinburgh and also to the Assembly.   Hately wanted to teach, not choirs, but congregations and he attracted huge classes — as many as 900 people in Greenock!   He not only taught people how to sing but provided them with historical and critical information as well.   Glencairn, Huntingtower and Leuchars were composed by him as was the melody of Cunningham.  Hately… edited and published standard Psalters which helped to raise the standard of congregational singing.   Their success was helped by the general and cultural interest of the time.’ – Isobel Scott

Latham, Henry – Anthologia Davidica, or a Metrical Translation of the Whole Book of Psalms, Selected from our Published Versions with Alterations  London 1846  580 pp.

Anonymous – Psalms for the Congregation, selected chiefly from the Authorized and other Approved Metrical Versions, freely altered and combined with a view to a closer rendering of the mind of the Psalmist, in Easy English Verse, and in portions adapted to Church Singing  1846  390 pp.

Cole, Benjamin – The Psalms of David: a New Metrical Version  1847

Churton, Edward – The Book of Psalms in English Verse and in Measures Suited for Sacred Music  1854  500 pp.

Wesley, Charles – The Wesleyan Psalter: a Poetical Version of Nearly the Whole Book of Psalms  1855  340 pp.  with an Introductory Essay by Henry Fish

Turner, Thomas – A Metrical Version of the Book of Psalms  1859

Jones, Abner – The Psalter, defined and explained in its musical bearings, and Divided according to its Musical Measures and Cadences, Vindicating the Psalms of David…  1860  300 pp.  The first part of the work contains the music, the second contains the versified psalter.

Cayley, C.B. – The Psalms in Metre  1860

Anonymous – The Book of Psalms Translated into English Verse  1862, London

Keys, William Wallace – The Psalms of David, With a Selection of Standard Music, Appropriately Arranged According to the Sentiment of Each Psalm or Portion of Psalm  (Philadelphia, 1864)  See also the editions of 1863 & 1865.

This was the first revised edition of the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter produced by the RPCNA.   At least 15 editions were published by 1874.  Further psalter editions were approved by the RPCNA in 1889 (a split-leaf edition), 1911, 1919, 1929, 1950, 1973 and 2009.

For more info on Keys and his psalter, see Andrew Myers, ‘The Keys Psalter’ (2020).

Anonymous – The American Metrical Psalter  New York  1864  300 pp.

The psalter is dedicated to the bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church.

Hapstone, Dalman – The Ancient Psalms in Appropriate Meters; a Strictly literal Translation from the Hebrew, with Explanatory Notes  1867

Keith, J. – The Book of Psalms Rendered into Common Metre Verse, from the Authorised English Version  1868  490 pp.

Keble, John – The Psalter, or Psalms of David in English Verse, Adapted to Tunes in Common Use  1869

Henderson, Andrew – The New Scottish Psalter being the Book of Psalms marked for expressive singing with tunes contained in ‘Church Melodies’  1869  310 pp.  Split-Leaf

Birks, Thomas Rawson – The Companion Psalter: or Four Hundred and Fifty Versions of the Psalms, Selected and Original, for Public or Private Worship  1874  350 pp.

Trower, W.J. – A New Metrical Psalter, first published in 1831, now Revised and Republished  1875  310 pp.

Kennedy, Benjamin Hall – The Psalter or Psalms of David in English Verse  1876  295 pp.

Marquis of Lorne – The Book of Psalms Literally Rendered in Verse  1877  580 pp.

Presbyterian Church in Ireland – The Psalter, a Revised Edition of the Scottish Metrical Version of the Psalms with Additional Psalm-Versions with Accompanying tunes, the harmonies revised by Robert Stewart  1880  190 pp.  Split-Leaf  Here is a words-only version.

Williams, Benjamin – The Book of Psalmsas Translated, Paraphrased or Imitated by some of the most Eminent Poets, viz.: Addison, Blacklock, Brady, Carter, Daniel, Denham, Doddridge, Merrick, Milton, Roscommon, Rowe, Sowden, Steele, Tate, Tollet, Watts, and several others; and Adapted to Christian Worship… to which is prefixed A Dissertation of Scripture Imprecations, with the View of Vindicating the Sacred Writers in General, and the Psalmists in Particular, against the… charge of indulging and countenancing a malevolent spirit  Buy  1881

Seymour, William Digby – The Hebrew Psalter, or ‘Book of Praises’, commonly called the Psalms of David: a New Metrical Translation  1882  430 pp.

Wrangham, Digby – Lyra Regis: the Book of Psalms rendered literally into English Meter  1885

The Psalter of the United Presbyterian Church of North America with Music  1887  520 pp.

Coles, Abraham – A New Rendering of the Hebrew Psalms into English Verse, with Notes…  1888  400 pp.

Gibson, Thomas – Selections from the Book of Psalms with Appropriate Tunes, suitable for Sabbath Schools, Prayer Meeting, etc.  1890  125 pp.

Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America Synod – The Psalter; or Book of Psalms.  A Revision of the Metrical Version of the Bible Psalms, with Additional Versions  New York  1893  350 pp.

Anonymous – All the French Psalm Tunes with English Words, being a Collection of Psalms, According to the Verses and Tunes Generally used in the Reformed Churches of France and Germany  n.d.  London

Anonymous – A Critical Translation of the Psalms in Metre  n.d.

“The author has labored hard to arrive at the correct meaning of the Hebrew, and to versify it.  The work is very carefully done, but few preachers can afford to spend their money on a book of this kind.” – Spurgeon

Anonymous – The Whole Psalter Translated into English Meter, which contains an Hundred and Fifty Psalms.  The First Quinquagene  n.d.  London




United Presbyterian Board of Publication – The Psalter with Music  1900  515 pp.

Collier, Edward – Lyrics from the Psalter: a Metrical Rendering of Selections from the Psalms  1907  140 pp.  United Presbyterian Board of Publication  These selected metrical renderings are different that The Psalter with Music of 1900.

Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America – The Psalter, or Book of Psalms, a Revision of the Metrical Version of the Bible Psalms, with Additional Versions  Pittsburgh  1907

United Presbyterian Board of Publication – Psalter Hymns for use in Families, Sabbath Schools and Bible Classes, Young People’s Societies, Prayer Meetings and Union Services  1911  90 pp.




Free Church of Scotland – Sing Psalms  2003

This was published by the Residual side of the Free Church of Scotland, as distinguished from the (Continuing) side from the division in 2000.

The Psalter sometimes uses gender inclusive language (where the Hebrew is masculine):  Psalm 1 reads “Blessed is the *one* who…”.  See also Ps. 41:1, etc.  Psalm 112:1, however, still reads “Blessed is the man who fears the LORD.”  Nonetheless, the Psalter presents a clear and intelligible translation with two or even three alternative meters offered for most of the Psalms.  See more information about the psalter here.



Singing the King James Version



Psalters for Chanting

King James Version

Oakeley, Herbert – The Bible Psalter: being the Authorized Version of the Psalms pointed for chanting, and with chants adapted thereto, or specially composed for this work  1850  160 pp.  The Preface teaches one how to chant.

ed. Hopkins & Smyth – The Choral Psalter, containing the Authorized Version of the Psalms, and other Portions of Scripture pointed for chanting with a selection of chants  1890  270 pp.


Gregorian Chants

Brown, Arthur Henry — The Gregorian Psalter; the Psalms Newly Adapted to the Old Church Tones, with the Occasional Introduction of Choral Harmony  1875  380 pp.

ed. Archer & Reed – The Psalter and Canticles Pointed for Chanting to the Gregorian Psalm Tones, with a Plain Song Setting… for the use of Evangelical Congregations  1897  480 pp.

Briggs & Frere – A Manual of Plainsong for Divine Service containing the Canticles Noted, the Psalter Noted to Gregorian Tones…  


More Versions

Redhead, Richard – The Psalter and Proper Psalms from the Book of Common Prayer, Pointed and Set to the Ancient Church Tones  1850  280 pp.

The Prayer book translation of the Psalms was done from the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, which is not as accurate as the inspired and preserved Hebrew.

Church of England – The Cathedral Psalter, containing the Psalms of David together with the Canticles and Proper Psalms Pointed for Chanting and Set to Appropriate Chants  18??  170 pp.

Helmore, Thomas – The Psalter Noted  New York 1856  260 pp.

Muhlenberg, William Augustus – The People’s Psalter being the Psalms of David arranged for Chanting, with an Appendix  1866  340 pp.  This psalter was associated with the American Episcopal Church.

Brown, Arthur Henry – The Anglican Psalter and Canticles; the Psalms and Canticles Newly Adapted to Anglican Chants of Ecclesiastical Character  1878  264 pp.

McLaren, Donald Campbell – The Book of Psalms Versified and Annotated  New York 1878

ed. Ravenshaw & Rockstro – The Ferial Psalter together with the Canticles adapted to Antient Ecclesiastical Tones  1887  300 pp.

Messiter, A.H. – The Psalter Pointed for Singing and Set to Music, according to the use of Trinity Parish, New York  1889  360 pp.

ed. Douglas – The Psalms of David from the St. Dunstan Psalter  1917  210 pp.



Psalters in Latin


The Stuttgarter Psalter  820-830 AD

ed. Rosier – The Vitellius Psalter  from the British Museum  1962

This is one of the six, extant, glossed, Gallican psalters written in England between 975-1075 AD.

ed. Gilson – The Mozarabic Psalter  in the British Museum  1905

Anglo-Saxon & Early English Psalter: Now First Printed from Manuscripts in the British Museum, vol. 12  (1843)

ed. Harsley – Eadwine’s Canterbury Psalter  from Cambridge



The Roman Psalter, by the Decree of the Most Holy Council of Trent, Restored: from the Roman Breviary…  (Antwerp, 1732)

Buchanan, George & Theodore Beza – A Twofold Poetic Paraphrase of the Sacred Psalms of David in 5 Books…  (Morgiis: 1581)

Buchanan, George – A Poetic Paraphrase of the Psalms of David…  Arguments & Melodies Explicated & Illustrated  ed. Nathan Chytraeus  Buy  (Herborn, 1637)

These are classical Latin meter paraphrases by George Buchanan, set to music by a German school teacher with help from a composer.  Rather loose paraphrases.

It includes 4-part harmony.



Evaluations of Psalters

Beveridge, Henry – A Defence of the Book of Psalms collected into English Metre by Thomas Sternhold, John Hopkins and Others with Critical Observations on the Late New Version compared with the Old  1710  136 pp.

Todd, Henry John – Observations upon the Metrical Versions of the Psalms made by Sternhold, Hopkins and others..  1822

In Chapter 3, pp. 50-85, Todd comments on the psalters of: (1) Archbishop Parker, (2) Henry Dod, (3) George Wither, (4) King James’ first version, (5) George Sandy, (6) William Barton, (7) Tate and Brady, (8) Richard Blackmore

ed. Lang, David – Notices Regarding the Metrical Versions of the Psalms received by the Church of Scotland  from the appendix of vol. 3 of Robert Baillie’s Letters, 1842

Commented on are: (1) the Old Version of 1565, (2) the King James’ Version of 1631, (3) Francis Rous’ Version of 1643, (4) the versions of Sir. W. Mure and Zachary Boyd, (5) Rous’ revised version of 1646, (6) The Present Version (the Scottish Metrical Psalter) of 1650, (7) Scriptural Songs and Paraphrases.

Earle, Alice – ‘The Psalm Book of the Pilgrims’, ‘The Bay Psalm Book’, ‘Sternhold and Hopkins’ Version of the Psalms’, ‘Other Old Psalm Books’, being chapters 11-14 of The Sabbath in Puritan New England  1891

Earle was a lay historian of early American culture.  Her reviews of the psalm books brings out intriguing details coupled with humor.  The Psalm Book of the Pilgrims was Henry Ainsworth’s 1644 psalter.






Histories of Psalters


Glass, Henry – The Story of the Psalters: A History of the Metrical Versions of Great Britain and America, from 1549-1885  1888

Young, Thomas – The Metrical Psalms and Paraphrases: a Short Sketch of their History with biographical notes of their authors  1909  224 pp.

Coles, Abraham – ‘II – Metrical Versions of the Psalms: French, English and Scotch’  1888  8 pp.  in A New Rendering of the Hebrew Psalms into English Verse, xiv-xxv



Brooke, William T. – Old English Psalmody, vol. 1 (1547-1660), 2 (1660-1800)  Buy  1916

Quitslund, Beth – The Reformation in Rhyme: Sternhold, Hopkins and the English Metrical Psalter, 1547-1603  Pre



Pidoux, Pierre – History of the Genevan Psalter




The Orthodox Presbyterian – History of the Authorized Metrical Version of the Psalms  1831

Livingston, Neil – Dissertation II, ‘History of the Scottish Psalter’  in The Scottish Metrical Psalter of 1635, pp. 8-23  1864

Laing, David – Account of the Scottish Psalter of A.D. 1566, containing the Psalms, Canticles and Hymns set to Music in Four Parts in the Manuscripts of Thomas Wode or Wood  1871  42 pp.

MacMeeken, John West – History of the Scottish Metrical Psalms with an Account of the Paraphrases and Hymns, and of the Music of the Old Psalter  1872  292 pp.



Shiells, Robert – ‘The Scottish Psalter’  1904  40 pp.  in Wisconsin Presbyterian Review

Kerr, A.W. – The Opening Chapters to A Plea for Revision of the Scottish Authorized Version of the Psalms of David in Metre, with Paraphrases and Hymns  Buy  1926

Patrick, Millar – Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody  1949  286 pp.

Warwick, Alistair – Music Fyne: Scottish Church Music up to 1603

Sanderson, Margaret – ‘The Printing and Distribution of the Bible and Psalm Books in Sixteenth-Century Scotland: some additional documentation’  Scottish Church History Society  1999, 29, pp. 139-149



Faber, R. – ‘The First Psalters in the Dutch Reformed Churches’ in The Clarion, Feb. 28, 2003, pp. 113-116



Pratt, Waldo Selden – The Music of the Pilgrims: a Description of the Psalm-Book Brought to Plymouth in 1620  (1921)  74 pp.



Histories of Composers

Lord Aston – ‘Biographical Notices of Those who have Translated the Whole Book of Psalms’  (1810)  26 pp.  in Select Psalms in Verse with Critical Remarks by Bishop Lowth and Others

Holland, John – The Psalmists of Britain: Records Biographical and Literary, of Upwards of One Hundred and Fifty Authors who have rendered the Whole or Parts of The Book of Psalms into English Verse, with Specimens of the Different Versions and a General Introduction, vol. 1, 2  (1843)



History of Psalm Tunes

See also Psalm Tune History Books.


Deddens, K. – The Origin of our [Genevan] Psalm Melodies  (1987)  70 paragraphs  

Havergal, W.H. – The Old Hundredth Psalm Tune, with Specimens  (1854)  80 pp.

Myers, Andrew – The Covenanter ‘Canon’  (2014)  2 paragraphs

Moffatt, James & Millar Patrick – Handbook to the Church Hymnary, with Supplement  Buy  (1929)

This handbook, in addition to many other things, gives background info on all of the psalm tunes used in the Scottish Psalmody, the classic Scottish Psalter used by the Free Church of Scotland.  The handbook was meant to attend the psalter and hymnbook produced in 1929 for the union of the United Free Church of Scotland with the Church of Scotland.

Scott, Isobel – The Scottish Psalmody  (2011)

Mrs. Scott, wife of Rev. Bill Scott of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) gives a very readable and lively introduction to the psalter that the Free Church of Scotland uses, and in the process gives the history of several psalters before it and the history of many of its psalm tunes.  This article is instructive for children and adults alike!

Gilchrist, A. G. – ‘Psalm-Versions & French Tunes in the Scottish Psalter of 1564’  Scottish Church History Society  (1935)



Lists of Printed Psalters

Latham, Henry – ‘A List of Metrical Versions of the Entire Book of Psalms’ & ‘Partial Versions’  1846  13 pp.  in Anthologia Davidica, or a Metrical Translation of the Whole Book of Psalms, Selected from our Published Versions with Alterations

Cowan, William – ‘The Bibliography’  in A Bibliography of the Book of Common Order and Psalm Book of the Church of Scotland: 1566-1644  1913  46 pp.

ed. Bateson, F.W. – Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, vol. 1 (600-1600)  1941

‘Old English Metrical Psalms’, p. 80
‘Versions of the Psalms’, pp. 677-9

Black, George F. – pp. 758-9 & 849-51 of A List of Works Relating to Scotland [in the New York Public Library]  1916

National Library of Scotland – pp. 637-8 of Catalogue of the Printed Books in the Advocates’ Library, vol. 5  1877

Duguid, Timothy C.

‘Printed Metrical Psalters by Short Title Catalogue Number’ 2011  28 pp.  in the ‘Bibliography’ to Sing a New Song: English and Scottish Metrical Psalmody from 1549-1640, vol. 1, pp 319-347  a PhD thesis, Univ. of Edin.

Metrical Psalmody in Print and Practice: English ‘Singing Psalms’ and Scottish ‘Psalm Buiks’, c. 1547-1640  Pre  Buy  (Ashgate, 2014)




Related Pages

Psalm Singing


The Song of Solomon in Poetry

The Poetry of the Westminster Divines

Personal Godliness