James was an English vicar and kind of a rabblerouser. He led the Oxford Movement, which basically tried to incorporate Catholic practices into Anglicanism during the early nineteenth century. Yeah. That didn't go over so well. He ticked off his congregation, so much that they accused him of being a secret agent for the Vatican . . . ticked off as in when he was attending a nun's funeral, those people beat the bejeebers out of him. Another time he was stoned, and many times he was threatened to be burned out of of his house.
Let's just say the fella wasn't too popular.
Even so, he was a dang good hymn writer. Grab a mug of tea and ponder of these lyrics from the second stanza of O Come, O Come Emmanual.
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.