||Decius, Nicolaus, 1485-1546|
Decius, Nicolaus (Nicolaus a Curia or von Hofe, otherwise Hovesch, seems to have been a native of Hof, in Upper Franconia, Bavaria, and to have been originally called Tech. He became a monk, and was in 1519 Probst of the cloister at Steterburg, near Wolfenbüttel. Becoming favourable to the opinions of Luther, he left Steterburg in July, 1522, and went to Brunswick, where he was appointed a master in the St. Katherine and Egidien School. In 1523 he was invited by the burgesses of Stettin to labour there as an Evangelical preacher along with Paulus von Rhode. He became preacher at the Church of St. Nicholas; was probably instituted by the Town Council in 1526, when von Rhode was instituted to St. Jacob's; and at the visitation in 1535 was recognized as pastor of St. Nicholas'. He died suddenly at Stettin, March 21, 1541, with some suspicion of being poisoned by his enemies of the Roman Catholic faction (Koch, i. 419-421, 471, 472; ii. 483; Allg. Deutsche Biography, iii. 791-793).
He seems to have been a popular preacher and a good musician. Three hymns are ascribed to him. These are versions of the “Sanctus," the "Gloria in excelsis," and the "Agnus Dei." The second and third are noted under these Latin first lines. He is also said to have composed or adapted the melodies set to them.
[Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)