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Encyclopedia > Isaac Watts
Isaac Watts
English Nonconformist pastor and hymnwriter
Born July 17,1674
Southampton, England
Died November 25,1748

Isaac Watts (July 17, 1674November 25, 1748) is recognised as the "Father of English Hymnody", as he was the first prolific and popular English hymnwriter, credited with some 750 hymns. Many of his hymns remain in active use today and have been translated into many languages. Image File history File links Isaac_Watts_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_18444. ... July 17 is the 198th day of the year (199th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events February 19 - England and the Netherlands sign the Treaty of Westminster. ... is the 329th day of the year (330th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events April 24 - A congress assembles at Aix-la-Chapelle with the intent to conclude the struggle known as the War of Austrian Succession - at October 18 - The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle is signed to end the war Adam Smith begins to deliver public lectures in Edinburgh Building of... A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a god or other religiously significant figure. ...

Contents

Life

Statue of Isaac Watts in Southampton.
Statue of Isaac Watts in Southampton.

Born in Southampton, Watts was brought up in the home of a committed Nonconformist — his father had been incarcerated twice for his controversial views. At King Edward VI School (where one of the houses is now named "Watts" in his honour), he learned Latin, Greek and Hebrew and displayed a propensity for rhyme at home, driving his parents to the point of distraction on many occasions with his verse. Once, he had to explain how he came to have his eyes open during prayers. Download high resolution version (396x639, 59 KB)Statue of Isaac Watts in the West (Watts) Park in Southampton, UK. Photo taken by me 2005-06-07. ... Download high resolution version (396x639, 59 KB)Statue of Isaac Watts in the West (Watts) Park in Southampton, UK. Photo taken by me 2005-06-07. ... Southampton is the largest city[1] on the south coast of England. ... Southampton is the largest city[1] on the south coast of England. ... A nonconformist is an English or Welsh Protestant of any non-Anglican denomination, chiefly advocating religious liberty. ... King Edward VI School (often referred to as KES) is a selective Independent Co-educational secondary school in Southampton, United Kingdom. ... The House System is a traditional feature of British schools, similar to the collegiate system of a university. ...

"A little mouse for want of stairs
ran up a rope to say its prayers."

Receiving corporal punishment for this, he cried

"O father, do some pity take
And I will no more verses make."

Watts, unable to go to either Oxford or Cambridge due to his Nonconformity, went to the Dissenting Academy at Stoke Newington in 1690. The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... The University of Cambridge (often Cambridge University), located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and has a reputation as one of the worlds most prestigious universities. ... The Castle Climbing Centre, once the main Water Board pumping station. ... Events Giovanni Domenico Cassini observes differential rotation within Jupiters atmosphere. ...


His education led him to the pastorate of a large Independent Chapel in London, and he also found himself in the position of helping trainee preachers, despite poor health. Taking work as a private tutor, he lived with the nonconformist Hartopp family at Fleetwood House, Abney Park in Stoke Newington, and later in the household of Sir Thomas and Lady Mary Abney at Theobalds, Cheshunt, in Hertfordshire, and at their second residence, Abney House, Stoke Newington. Though a nonconformist, Sir Thomas practiced occasional conformity to the Church of England as necessitated by his being Lord Mayor of London 1700–01. Likewise Isaac Watts held religious opinions that were more nondenominational or ecumenical than was at that time common for a nonconformist; having a greater interest in promoting education and scholarship, than preaching for any particular ministry. This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


On the death of Sir Thomas Abney, Watts moved permanently with widow, Lady Mary Abney, and her remaining daughter, to their second home, Abney House, at Abney Park in Stoke Newington - a property that Mary had inherited from her brother along with title to the Manor itself. The beautiful grounds at Abney Park, which became Watts' permanent home from 1736 to 1748, led down to an island heronry in the Hackney Brook where Watts sought inspiration for the many books and hymns written during these two decades. He died there in Stoke Newington and was buried in Bunhill Fields, having left behind him a massive legacy, not only of hymns, but also of treatises, educational works, essays and the like. His work was influential amongst independents and early religious revivalists in his circle, amongst whom was Philip Doddridge who dedicated his best known work to Watts. On his death, Isaac Watts' papers were given to Yale University; an institution with which he was connected due to its being founded predominantly by fellow Independents (Congregationalists). Mary Abney (née Gunston) (1676- January 12th 1750), inherited the Manor of Stoke Newington in the eartly 1700s, which lies about five miles north of St Pauls Cathedral in the City of London and had been granted by the Cathedral to a succession of private owners since the... Introduction The historic grounds of Abney Park are situated in Stoke Newington, London, England. ... The Castle Climbing Centre, once the main Water Board pumping station. ... Blake Memorial in Bunhill Fields Bunhill Fields is a cemetery located in the London Borough of Islington, north of the City of London, and managed by the Corporation of London. ... There is more than one Philip Doddridge important to history: Philip Doddridge (Nonconformist) Philip Doddridge (Virginia) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... “Yale” redirects here. ...


Cultural impact

  • In the 1884 comic opera called Princess Ida, there is a punning reference to Watts in Act I. At Princess Ida's women's university no males of any kind are allowed, and the Princess's father, King Gama, relates that "She'll scarcely suffer Dr. Watts's 'hymns'".

Against Idleness And Mischief is a poem in Divine Songs for Children, by Isaac Watts, and is one of his best known poems. ... Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) – believed to be a self-portrait Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman and photographer. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... How Doth the Little Crocodile is a poem by Lewis Carroll which appears in his novel, Alices Adventures in Wonderland. ... Comic opera, or light opera, denotes a sung dramatic work of a light or comic nature, usually with a happy ending. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Princess Ida Wikisource has original text related to this article: The Princess (Tennyson) Princess Ida, or Castle Adamant, is the eighth operetta written by Gilbert and Sullivan. ...

Other works

Besides being a famous hymn-writer, Isaac Watts was also a renowned theologian and logician, writing many books and essays on these subjects. Watts was the author of a text book on logic which was particularly popular; its full title was, Logic: or The Right Use of Reason in the Enquiry After Truth With a Variety of Rules to Guard Against Error in the Affairs of Religion and Human Life, as well as in the Sciences. This was first published in 1724, and its popularity ensured that it went through twenty editions. Theology is literally rational discourse concerning God (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, rational discourse). By extension, it also refers to the study of other religious topics. ... A logician is a philosopher, mathematician, or other whose topic of scholarly study is logic. ... Logic, from Classical Greek λόγος logos (meaning word, account, reason or principle), is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ...


In this text book Watts divided logic into four branches: perception, judgement, reasoning, and method, which he treated in this order. In the first section Watts discusses the origin and nature of ideas, and the relationship between words and ideas, and it is easy to detect the influence of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding in this section. He provides chapters on how to arrive at clear and distinct ideas, the definition of names, the definition of things, and the division of ideas. The next section is concerned with judgements and propositions, and the division of these. Here, Watts largely follows the scholastic tradition of dividing propositions into universal affirmative, universal negative, particular affirmative and particular negative, and he proceeds to discuss the nature of these kinds of propositions, showing how to convert one to the other. In addition he examines errors in judgement and prejudices that can pervert our judgements, before setting down directions to avoid these sources of error. In the third section, Watts discusses reasoning conceived specifically as argumentation, with particular emphasis on the theory of syllogism, which was a centrally important part of logic at the time, but which has had its parts either superseded or absorbed by modern logic. The final section discusses method, which he defines as 'the disposition of a variety of thoughts on any subject in such order as may best serve to find out unknown truths, to explain and confirm truths that are known, or to fix them in the memory.'[1] In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ... Judgment or judgement implies a balanced weighing up of evidence preparatory to making a decision. ... Reasoning is the act of using reason to derive a conclusion from certain premises. ... method (from Greek methodos, met hodos literally way across). The word entered English in 1541 via French and Latin. ... An Essay Concerning Human Understanding is one of John Lockes two most famous works, the other being his Second Treatise on Civil Government. ... A definition is a concise statement explaining the meaning of a term, word or phrase. ... A definition is a concise statement explaining the meaning of a term, word or phrase. ... In modern philosophy, logic and linguistics, a proposition is what is asserted as the result of uttering a declarative sentence. ... Scholastic redirects here. ... Reasoning is the act of using reason to derive a conclusion from certain premises. ... Argumentation theory, or argumentation, is the science of effective civil debate or dialogue and the effective propagation thereof, using rules of inference and logic, as applied in the real world setting. ... A syllogism (Greek: — conclusion, inference), usually the categorical syllogism, is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition (the conclusion) is inferred from two others (the premises) of a certain form. ... method (from Greek methodos, met hodos literally way across). The word entered English in 1541 via French and Latin. ...


Isaac Watts's Logic became the standard text on logic at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale; being used at Oxford University for well over 100 years. Charles Sanders Peirce, one of the greatest nineteenth century logicians, wrote favourably of Watts's Logic. When preparing his own text book on Logic entitled A Critick of Arguments: How to Reason, Peirce wrote, 'I shall suppose the reader to be acquainted with what is contained in Dr Watts's Logick, a book very cheap and easily procured, and far superior to the treatises now used in colleges, being the production of a man distinguished for good sense.' [2] The Logic was followed in 1741 by a supplement, The Improvement of the Mind, which itself went through numerous editions and later inspired Michael Faraday. The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... The University of Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world, with one of the most selective sets of entry requirements in the United Kingdom. ... Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and a member of the Ivy League. ... “Yale” redirects here. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... Charles Sanders Peirce Charles Sanders Peirce (September 10, 1839 – April 19, 1914) was an American logician, philosopher, scientist, and mathematician. ... Logic, from Classical Greek λόγος logos (meaning word, account, reason or principle), is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ... Michael Faraday, FRS (September 22, 1791 – August 25, 1867) was an English chemist and physicist (or natural philosopher, in the terminology of that time) who contributed significantly to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. ...


Memorials

Isaac Watts' tomb in Bunhill Fields.
Isaac Watts' tomb in Bunhill Fields.
London's only public statue to Isaac Watts is in Abney Park, Stoke Newington.
London's only public statue to Isaac Watts is in Abney Park, Stoke Newington.

The earliest surviving built memorial to Isaac Watts is at Westminster Abbey; this was completed shortly after his death. His much-visited chest tomb, in its photogenic setting at Bunhill Fields, dates from 1808, replacing the original that had been paid for and erected by Lady Mary Abney and the Hartopp family. In addition a stone bust of Watts can be seen in the non-conformist library Dr Williams's Library in central London. The earliest public statue stands at Abney Park, where he lived and died before it became a cemetery and arboretum; a later, rather similar statue, was funded by public subscription for a new Victorian public park in the city of his birth, Southampton. In the mid nineteenth century a Congregational Hall, the Dr Watts Memorial Hall, was also built in Southampton, though after the Second World War it was lost to redevelopment. Now standing on this site is the Isaac Watts Memorial United Reformed Church. Image File history File linksMetadata Isaac_Watts_DD_tomb_in_Bunhill_Fields. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Isaac_Watts_DD_tomb_in_Bunhill_Fields. ... Blake Memorial in Bunhill Fields Bunhill Fields is a cemetery located in the London Borough of Islington, north of the City of London, and managed by the Corporation of London. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (607x855, 72 KB) Summary my photo Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (607x855, 72 KB) Summary my photo Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Abney Park Cemetery—every turn of the path reveals a new and unique landscape (September 2005). ... The Castle Climbing Centre, once the main Water Board pumping station. ... The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster, which is almost always referred to by its original name of Westminster Abbey, is a mainly Gothic church, on the scale of a cathedral (and indeed often mistaken for one), in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. ... Blake Memorial in Bunhill Fields Bunhill Fields is a cemetery located in the London Borough of Islington, north of the City of London, and managed by the Corporation of London. ... Mary Abney (née Gunston) (1676- January 12th 1750), inherited the Manor of Stoke Newington in the eartly 1700s, which lies about five miles north of St Pauls Cathedral in the City of London and had been granted by the Cathedral to a succession of private owners since the... Dr Williamss Library is a small research library located in Gordon Square in Bloomsbury, London. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ...


One of the earliest built memorials may also now be lost: a bust to Watts that was commissioned on his death for the London chapel with which he was associated. The chapel was demolished in the late eighteenth century; remaining parts of the memorial were rescued at the last minute by a wealthy landowner for installation in his chapel near Liverpool. It is unclear whether it still survives. Location within England Coordinates: , Country  United Kingdom Constituent country  England Region North West England Ceremonial county Historic county Merseyside Lancashire Admin HQ Liverpool Founded 1207 City Status 1880 Government  - Type Metropolitan borough, City  - Governing body Liverpool City Council Area  - Borough & City 43. ...


The stone statue in front of the Abney Park Chapel at Dr Watts' Walk, Abney Park Cemetery, was erected in 1845 by public subscription. It was designed by the leading British sculptor, Edward Hodges Baily RA FRS. A scheme for a commemorative statue on this spot had first been promoted in the late 1830s by George Collison, who in 1840 published an engraving as the frontispiece of his book about cemetery design in Europe and America; and at Abney Park Cemetery in particular. This first cenotaph proposal was never commissioned, and Baily's later design was adopted in 1845. Abney Park Chapel, is a grade ii Listed chapel, situated in Europes first wholly nondenominational cemetery, Abney Park Cemetery, London. ... A sculpture is a three-dimensional object, which for the purposes of this article is man-made and selected for special recognition as art. ... Edward Hodges Baily (March 10, 1788 - May 22, 1867) was a British sculptor who was born in Bristol. ... This article refers to an art institution in London. ... FRS is an abbreviation which can stand for various phrases: Family Radio Service, a personal radio service utilizing the UHF band Fellow of the Royal Society, a title awarded to distinguished scientists who are British, Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland citizens Fisheries Research Services, an agency of the Scottish Executive... The Rev. ... Abney Park Cemetery—every turn of the path reveals a new and unique landscape (September 2005). ...

Isaac Watts.
Isaac Watts.

This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ...

Contemporary Significance

  • Isaac Watts is commemorated as a hymnwriter in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod on November 25

The Lutheran Calendar of Saints is a listing which details the primary annual festivals and events that are celebrated liturgically by the Lutheran Church. ... LCMS redirects here. ...

List of hymns

Some of Watts' more well-known hymns are:

Many of his hymns are included in the Methodist hymn book Hymns and Psalms. Joy to the World is one of the best-known and best-loved of Christmas carols. ... HANDEL was the code-name for the UKs National Attack Warning System in the Cold War. ... Alma mater is Latin for nourishing mother. It was used in ancient Rome as a title for the mother goddess, and in Medieval Christianity for the Virgin Mary. ... Hymns and Psalms is the hymn book of the Methodist Church. ...


See also

For the record label, see Puritan Records. ... English Dissenters were dissenters from England who opposed State interference in religious matters and founded their own communities over the 16th to 18th century period. ... In English church history, Independents advocated local congregational control of religious and church matters, without any wider geographical hierarchy, either ecclesiastical or political. ... Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs. ... Africa is a hymn tune composed by William Billings. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Isaac Watts
Wikisource
Wikisource has original works written by or about:

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ... Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive, and distribute cultural works. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Watts, I (1825 reprint) Logic or the Right Use of Reason in the Inquiry After Truth; with a Variety of Rules to Guard Against Error in the Affairs of Religion and Human Life, as well as in the Sciences Kessinger Books, United States.
  2. ^ Peirce, C.S. (1933) The Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, vol.II, Paul Weiss and Charles Hartshorne, eds. Cambridge MASS, Harvard University Press

  Results from FactBites:
 
Isaac Watts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (817 words)
Isaac Watts (July 17, 1674 - November 25, 1748) is recognised as the 'Father of English Hymnody', as he was the first prolific and popular English hymnwriter, credited with some 750 hymns.
Watts, unable to go to either Oxford or Cambridge due to his Nonconformity, went to the Dissenting Academy at Stoke Newington in 1690.
Likewise Isaac Watts held religious opinions that were more nondenominational or ecumenical than was at that time common for a nonconformist; having a greater interest in promoting education and scholarship, than preaching for any particular ministry.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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