For brief notices on the lives of the Nonconformist women writers below, see their entries on this site under Biographical Summaries, which includes links to other pages on this site where these women can also be found.
For more on the English hymn, see Louis F. Benson, The English Hymn: Its Development and Use in Worship (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1915); Albert Edward Bailey, The Gospel in Hymns: Backgrounds and Interpretations (New York: Scribner’s, 1950); J. R. Watson, The English Hymn: A Critical and Historical Study (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977); Madeliene Forell Marshall and Janet Todd, English Congregational Hymns in the Eighteenth Century (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1982); Margaret Maison, ‘“Thine, only Thine”: Women Hymn Writers in Britain, 1760-1835’, in Religion in the Lives of English Women, 1760-1930, ed. Gail Malmgreen (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1986), pp. 11-40; Donald Davie, The Eighteenth-Century Hymn in England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); Richard Arnold, The English Hymn (New York: Peter Lang, 1995); David A. Music and Paul A. Richard, eds.,“I Will Sing the Wondrous Story”: A History of Baptist Hymnody in North America, ed. (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2008); Isabel Rivers and David A. Wykes, eds., Dissenting Praise: Religious Dissent and the Hymn in England and Wales (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).
Among online sources for the hymns, the best is the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology, under the editorial leadership of J. R. Watson and Emma Hornby. This site contains some 5000 individual entries on hymns composed within the Judaeo-Christian tradition by more than 300 authors from over 30 countries; the site also includes articles on individual hymns, authors from many countries, hymnals, organizations, and themes, as well as information on hymn tunes and their composers. See also Hymnary, where thousands of images of hymns from the original hymnals can be viewed.