Amazing Grace - John Newton, William Cowper and Olney.

Wiliam CowperJohn NewtonDestination

The Cowper and Newton Museum
The Market Place,
Milton Keynes
MK46 4AJ

In the 1760s Olney was the setting for a friendship between former sailor and slave trader John Newton and poet William Cowper who suffered from frequent depression. Together they changed the atmosphere of the town. John Newton went on to work with William Wilberforce towards the abolition of slavery. They wrote hymns that have become favourites, sung all over the world, notably. "Amazing Grace" (John Newton) and "God moves in a mysterious way" (William Cowper).

See the Cowper and Newton Museum website for current admission times and prices.

Special summer attraction for children: Sailing the seven seas family trail and things to do - £1.00 for the trail and prize.

By car
Take the A 509 from Wellingborough or Newport Pagnell
By bus
Number 21 from Milton Keynes station and shopping centre to Olney
Number 41 Stagecoach service between Northampton and Bedford runs through Olney.

William Cowper buttonRead about John Newton


William CowperRead about William Cowper


Olney parish churchWhile in Olney
Visit the parish church of St Peter and St Paul (left) where John Newton was Curate in charge (the vicar being occupied in caring for his 13 children and another parish.Sutcliff Baptist chapel, Olney

Notice also the Baptist Church (right). The Minister, John Sutcliff, was a friend of Cowper and Newton. John Sutcliff instigated a national call to prayer which is thought to have contributed to the success of the missionary movement. John Sutcliff trained a number of Baptist pastors, including William Carey.