He was born in Wapping, Middlesex, England. His maternal grandfather was the Reverend Samuel Brewer, congregationalist pastor at Stepney Meeting House for 50 years. However James was attracted to the Church of England and soon became an Anglican.
Edmeston started by writing poetry publishing The Search, and other Poems in 1817.
Ecclesiastical and charity career
He served as the church warden at St. Barnabas in Homerton, Middlesex, and was a strong supporter of and frequent visitor to the London Orphan Asylum. Edmeston is said to have written 2000 hymns, one every Sunday.
He died in Homerton in 1867.
- Julian, John (June 1907). A Dictionary of Hymnology. London: John Murray. pp. 321–322.
- Bailey, Albert Edward (1950). The Gospel in Hymns. New York: Charles Scribner's sons. pp. 166–168.
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