During his second visit to England in 1794, Joseph Haydn made the acquaintance of the Rector of Westbourne, the Reverend William Dechair Tattersall. He tried to interest Haydn in his plan to improve congregational singing, more particularly the singing of psalms, in the Anglican Church. Haydn's fame in England had been well founded durng his first visit in 1791/1792 and now, at the height of his celebrity, he was warmly welcomed on all sides. The Reverend Tattersall was more than delighted, therefore, when Haydn consented to help him, and he expressed his thanks with the gift of a silver bowl.
In these six English Psalms Haydn's feeling for accessible and easily remembered melody, partwriting which is satisfying to sing, interesting harmony, well balanced form and a reasonable setting of the text is fully in evidence.