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Isaac Watts (1674-1748), Hymn writer

Sitter in 13 portraits
Isaac Watts is recognised as the 'Father of English Hymnody', as he was the first prolific and popular English hymn writer, credited with some 750 hymns. Many of his hymns remain in active use today and have been translated into many languages. Watts was brought up in the home of a committed non-conformist - his father had been incarcerated twice for his controversial views. He became the pastor of a large Independent Chapel in London, and he worked as a private tutor, living with two non-conformist families, the Hartopps and the Abney family. Watts had begun writing poetry as a child. The first of his many books of hymns, Horae Lyricae, was published in 1706.

List Thumbnail

264

Isaac Watts

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, feigned oval, circa 1720-1735
NPG 264

640

Isaac Watts

by George White, sold by Edward Dilly, and sold by Charles Dilly
mezzotint, 1727
NPG 640

D7584

Isaac Watts

by George Vertue, after Isaac Whood
line engraving, engraved 1710
NPG D7584

D7585

Isaac Watts

by George Vertue, after Isaac Whood
line engraving, 1710?
NPG D7585

D7582

Isaac Watts

by George Vertue, after Unknown artist
line engraving, published 1722
NPG D7582

D7583

Isaac Watts

by George Vertue, after Unknown artist
line engraving, published 1722
NPG D7583

D37902

Isaac Watts

by George White, printed for Bowles & Carver
mezzotint, 1727
NPG D37902

D4699

Isaac Watts

by George White, sold by Edward Dilly, and sold by Charles Dilly
mezzotint, 1727
NPG D4699

D4700

Isaac Watts

by George White, sold by Edward Dilly, and sold by Charles Dilly
mezzotint, 1727
NPG D4700

D7586

Isaac Watts

by George Vertue
line engraving, 1742
NPG D7586

D4701

Isaac Watts

published by Bowles & Carver, after George White
mezzotint, circa 1793-1832
NPG D4701

D19666

Isaac Watts

by George White
mezzotint, 1727
NPG D19666

D19430

Isaac Watts

by Hilton, published by John Barfield
stipple engraving, published 1 March 1810
NPG D19430

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