Isaac Watts, an English clergyman, born in Southampton, July 17, 1674, died in London, Nov. 25,1748. He was educated in his father's boarding school and at a dissenting academy in London under the Rev. Thomas Rowe, became in 1696 a private tutor at Stoke-Newington, and in 1698 assistant minister to the Rev. Isaac Chauncey of an Independent congregation then meeting in Mark lane, London, of which he became pastor in 1702. His health suffering, he obtained an assistant in 1703, and in 1712 went to live with Sir Thomas Abney, a London alderman, in whose family he remained as a guest 36 years till his death. His "Logic, or the Right Use of Reason" (London, 1725), and his "Improvement of the Mind" (1727), based on the philosophy of Locke, are the best known of his prose writings, though he also published a work on astronomy and geography, several volumes of sermons, and theological treatises, of which the best known is one on the Trinity. His poetical works include " Hymns and Spiritual Songs " (London, 1707), "Psalms of David imitated in the Language of the New Testament" (1719), and "Divine Songs attempted in easy Language for the Use of Children" (1726). Many of his psalms and hymns are found in all church collections.
The first complete collection of his works was published by Drs. Jennings and Doddridge (6 vols. 4to, London, 1754). His biography by Dr. Johnson is included in the "Lives of the Poets." His Horce Lyricoe was republished in 1837, with a memoir by Southey. Dr. Watts never married. His stature scarcely exceeded five feet. There is a monument to his memory in Westminster abbey, and the foundation stone of a memqrial hall in his honor was laid at Southampton, May 6, 1875.