In writing Isaac Watts and Contemporary Hymn-Writers, Thomas Wright’s goal was to give a clear and concise biography of Isaac Watts. In his opinion, other biographers gave a dull portrait of the man known as the “Father of English Hymnody.” Wright claims his aim was “to show how the study of his life can be of real value to us at the present day.” This resource includes previously unrecorded and unpublished facts, letters, images, and photographs.
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Thomas Wright, MA, FSA, was an English antiquary. He translated, annotated, and edited many famous works.
Isaac Watts (1674–1748), was an English hymn-writer, theologian, and logician. He is recognized as the “Father of English Hymnody” and is credited with some 750 hymns. Many of his hymns remain in active use today.
As a young boy, Watts began to write poems and hymns to please his mother. He received an excellent education as a child and studied at the nonconformist academy at Stoke Newington as a youth. After he completed his education, Watts began to write hymns and also tutored the family of Sir John Hartopp. At age 26, Watts became a pastor, but his poor health kept him from his duties. In 1712, Isaac Watts went to live with the Abney family in Stoke Newington for a short time, and ended up staying there permanently. During his stay, he would occasionally preach, but mostly devoted his time to writing hymns, sermons for publications, essays, discourses, and poems. He died peacefully at the age of 74.