Bay Psalm Book
The Whole Book of Psalmes


Bay Psalm Book was the first book known to have been both written and printed in the English colonies of America. Its full name is The Whole Book of Psalmes, Faithfully Translated into English Metre. Stephen Daye, a printer in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, printed the first edition of the book in 1640.

The Bay Psalm Book is a collection of the Biblical psalms translated from Hebrew into English. Many colonial clergymen helped translate this hymnal. They included John Cotton, John Eliot, Richard Mather, and Thomas Weld. In 1651, Henry Dunster, president of Harvard College, published a revision of the book. He prepared the revision with the aid of Richard Lyon, a Harvard tutor. The revision became popular not only in the colonies but also in England and Scotland. It appeared in at least 27 editions.

Contributor: Mark A. Noll, Ph.D., Prof. of History, Wheaton College.


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