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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.

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Isaac Watts, by Unknown artist - NPG 264

Isaac Watts

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

Isaac Watts, by George White, sold by  Edward Dilly, and sold by  Charles Dilly - NPG 640

Isaac Watts

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

Isaac Watts, by George Vertue, after  Isaac Whood - NPG D7584

Isaac Watts

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

Isaac Watts, by George Vertue, after  Isaac Whood - NPG D7585

Isaac Watts

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

Isaac Watts, by George Vertue, after  Unknown artist - NPG D7582

Isaac Watts

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

Isaac Watts, by George Vertue, after  Unknown artist - NPG D7583

Isaac Watts

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

Isaac Watts, by George White, printed for  Bowles & Carver - NPG D37902

Isaac Watts

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

Isaac Watts, by George White, sold by  Edward Dilly, and sold by  Charles Dilly - NPG D4699

Isaac Watts

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

Isaac Watts, by George White, sold by  Edward Dilly, and sold by  Charles Dilly - NPG D4700

Isaac Watts

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

Isaac Watts, by George Vertue - NPG D7586

Isaac Watts

by George Vertue
line engraving, 1742
NPG D7586

Isaac Watts, published by Bowles & Carver, after  George White - NPG D4701

Isaac Watts

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

Web image not currently available

Isaac Watts

by George White
mezzotint, 1727
NPG D19666

Web image not currently available

Isaac Watts

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

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