Watts, Isaac


Watts, Isaac
born July 17, 1674, Southampton, Hampshire, Eng.
died Nov. 25, 1748, Stoke Newington, London

English Nonconformist minister, regarded as the father of English hymnody.

Watts studied at the Dissenting Academy at Stoke Newington, London, and he later became pastor of Mark Lane Independent (i.e., Congregational) Chapel. His collections of sacred lyrics include Horae Lyricae (1706), Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707), and The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament (1719). His hymns, numbering more than 600, became known throughout Protestant Christendom; they include "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross," "O God, Our Help in Ages Past," "Joy to the World," and "Jesus Shall Reign." A man of great erudition, he published books on a range of subjects.

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▪ British minister
born July 17, 1674, Southampton, Hampshire, Eng.
died Nov. 25, 1748, Stoke Newington, London

      English Nonconformist minister, regarded as the father of English hymnody (hymn).

      Watts, whose father was a Nonconformist, studied at the Dissenting Academy at Stoke Newington, London, which he left in 1694. In 1696 he became tutor to the family of Sir John Hartopp of Stoke Newington (a centre of religious dissent) and of Freeby, Leicestershire, and preached his first sermons in the family chapel at Freeby. He was appointed assistant to the minister of Mark Lane Independent (i.e., Congregational) Chapel, London, in 1699 and in March 1702 became full pastor. He was apparently an inspiring preacher. Because of a breakdown in health (1712) he went to stay, intending a week's visit, with Sir Thomas Abney in Hertfordshire; he remained with the Abneys for the rest of his life.

      Watts wrote educational books on geography, astronomy, grammar, and philosophy, which were widely used throughout the 18th century. He is now best known, however, for his hymns. The famous hymns were written during Watts's Mark Lane ministry. His first collection of hymns and sacred lyrics was Horae Lyricae (1706), quickly followed by Hymns and Spiritual Songs (1707), which included “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” “There is a Land of Pure Delight,” and others that have become known throughout Protestant Christendom. The most famous of all his hymns, “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past” (from his paraphrase of Ps. 90), and “Jesus Shall Reign” (part of his version of Ps. 72), almost equally well known, were published in The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament . . . (1719). He also wrote religious songs especially for children; these were collected in Divine Songs for the Use of Children (1715).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Watts,Isaac — Watts, Isaac. 1674 1748. English poet, theologian, and hymn writer whose sacred poems include The Psalms of David Imitated (1719). * * * …   Universalium

  • Watts, Isaac — ( 1674 1748 )    father of modern Protestant hymnody    Isaac Watts was born in Southampton, England. His father was a Puritan deacon who had at times been imprisoned for nonconformist beliefs. Isaac received an education that included Greek,… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • Watts, Isaac — (1674–1748)    Hymn Writer.    Watts was born in Southampton, of a non conforming family. He was educated at the Dissenting Academy at Stoke Newington and he became the pastor of an independent congregation in London. Because of bad health he… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Watts, Isaac — (17 July 1674, Southampton, England – 25 November 1748, Stoke Newington)    Influential writer of hymns and psalm paraphrases. His collection The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language {}of the New Testament (1719) consummated the movement away …   Historical dictionary of sacred music

  • Watts, Isaac — (1674 1748)    Born in Southampton, Hampshire, the son of a tradesman, he was educated at a Nonconformist academy at Stoke Newington, London, and in 1702 he became minister of the Mark Lane Chapel, London. His health was undermined by long hours… …   British and Irish poets

  • Watts, Isaac — (17 jul. 1674, Southampton, Hampshire, Inglaterra–25 nov. 1748, Stoke Newington, Londres). Pastor inglés disidente, considerado el padre de la himnodia inglesa. Estudió en la Academia disidente de Stoke Newington, Londres, y posteriormente fue… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • WATTS, ISAAC —    Nonconformist divine, born at Southampton, son of a schoolmaster; chose the ministry as his profession, was for a time pastor of a church in Mark Lane, but after a succession of attacks of illness he resigned and went on a visit to his friend… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • WATTS, Isaac — (1674 1748)    famous English HYMN writer whose works included When I Survey the Wondrous Cross …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Watts, Isaac — (1674 1748)    Poet and theologian, b. at Southampton, where his f. kept a school, and ed. at a Nonconformist academy at Stoke Newington, became minister of an Independent congregation in Mark Lane; but his health proving insufficient for his… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Isaac Watts — (* 17. Juli 1674 in Southampton, England; † 25. November 1748 in London, England) war ein britischer Liederdichter. Watts ist für die vielen von ihm selbstverfassten Hymnen (750) bekannt. In …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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