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Watts, Isaac (1674–1748)

  1. Jack C. Whytock

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1455

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Whytock, J. C. 2011. Watts, Isaac (1674–1748). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Born in Southampton in 1674, Isaac Watts is often accorded the title of “father of English hymnody.” His father was a schoolmaster, a clothier, and a deacon in a Congregational church. Isaac studied at a nonconformist academy, and it appears that he began writing hymns in 1696. He served as a family tutor before accepting a call to the Independent Mark Lane Church, London in 1702. He lived with the Abneys near Cheshunt, tutored their children, and wrote and preached at Mark Lane when he could.


  • Watts, Isaac (1674–1748);
  • title of “father of english hymnody”;
  • first collection of poetry, Horae Lyricae