Hanby: Benjamin: 22 July 1833 – 16 March 1867

By | January 5, 2021
Black & White Photo of Benjamin Hanby's head and Shoulders

Benjamin Hanby was an American composer born in 1833. He wrote over eighty songs some of his most famous being; ‘Jolly Old Saint Nicholas‘, ‘Up on The House Top’ and ‘Darling Nelly Gray’.

His father was a Bishop – William Hanby.

Life & Career

As a teenager Benjamin assisted his father with the Underground Railroad which helped slaves escape to freedom.

The house in which he wrote Darling Nelly Gray in 1856 is now a historical site name ‘Hanby House’. The song tells the story of a slave who has been separated from his love.

That same year at the age of twenty three he graduated and briefly taught before becoming a minister. Then in 1860 he became the head teacher of Seven Mile Academy in Seven Mile, Ohio. Four years later in 1864 he became minster of a church in New Paris Ohio, but this was short-lived as by the end of the year he was in charge of a singing school in the same village.

Sadly Hanby encountered an early death at the age of just thirty three from tuberculosis.

Further Reading & Musical Downloads

On music-scores.com we have over ten arrangements for you of Benjamin Hanby Sheet Music. For further information take a look at Wikipedia.

Leave a Reply