Isaac Watts
Born: 17-07-1674, Southampton (GB)
Died: 25-11-1748, Stoke Newington (GB)

The godfather

He is considered as the godfather of English Hymnody. Isaac Watts was not only a English Christian Minister, he was also a writer, theologian and poet. He is most considered for his hymns.


Born as a son of a religious Nonconformist, he was introduced to Latin, Greek and Hebrew at an early age. Isaac Watts sr. decided his son would be educated at King Edward VI School in Southampton. During this education, Watts jr. Showed interest in poetry and started rhyming.

As his family was on the wrong side of society as it came to religion, Watts could not get into Cambridge or Oxford. Only those who were part of the Anglican church were allowed to attend these universities. Instead, he began his studies at Dissenting Academy. This would be the introduction to the village Stoke Newington, nowadays part of London. In this neighboring city, he became a pastor of an independent chapel. His main task was to train preachers. Focussing more on education and scholarship was important to him.

As a private tutor, he lived in the house of the Hartropp family at Fleetwood House (Church Street, Stoke Newington). He made friends with the neighbors, Sir Thomas Abney and his wife, Lady Mary. Later on, he became part of their household. He held this position for 36 years. When Sir Thomas died in 1722, his wife and daughter moved to Herefordshire. He decided to stay at Abney Hall, until his death in 1748.

Watts as a writer

Watts played an important role as it comes to English hymnody. He used the Bible as a starting point for most of his work. He also wrote about Logic

Poems published on this website


Isaac Watts
Article Name
Isaac Watts
Read the biography of Isaac Watts (1674 - 1748), the godfather of the English Hymnody.
Publisher Name
The Ministry of Poetic Affairs

The contact form of this website was disabled. The project "The Ministry of Poetic Affairs" is no longer an active project. See for more information: