Isaac Watts statue refurbished in Southampton for
anniversary event

Isaac Watts statue refurbished in Southampton for anniversary event

Dozens of people have turned out in Southampton to celebrate the life and achievements of Isaac Watts, one of Southampton’s “most famous sons”.

The Watts Park statue of Watts, one of the first people to write hymns in the English language, has undergone refurbishment work ahead of the event. 

This saw its fingers replaced after years of erosion and perched seagulls knocked parts of the statue away. 

On June 25, actors, singers, politicians and religious leaders came together in the park opposite Southampton Central Library for a morning of music, drama and poetry to celebrate. 

READ MORE: Looking back: Isaac’s hymns still chime with us today

One of the main organisers, Reverand Vic Jackopson MBE told the Echo: “A good crowd turned out to celebrate the 350th Anniversary of the birth of Isaac Watts, the first to write hymns in the English language and inspiration of all composers from Charles Wesley to John Rutter and every genre of spiritual songs around the world.

“Isaac Watts is undoubtedly the most famous son of Southampton and worthy of celebrating as a hymnodist, logician, educator, theologian, poet, astronomer and philosopher.

“His book on logic was used as standard text into the 19th century by Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh from where he received a doctorate in spite of never having been to university himself.”

Refurbishment work was funded by the city council with the Lord Mayor, Councillor Dave Shields speaking at the event. 

Isaac Watts 350-year celebrationIsaac Watts 350-year celebration (Image: Supplied)

The choir and brass band of the King Edward VI school led the music with drama provided by The Sarah Siddons Theatre group.

There was also poetry and a short talk by Chris Noyce. 

Isaac Watts was born on Above Bar Street on July 17, 1674 as the eldest son of Isaac Watts senior who at the time of young Isaac’s birth was serving time in prison in The Bargate, having fallen foul of the the Act Of Uniformity and The Five Mile Act as a dissenter.

Isaac Watts wrote more than 600 hymns and was an accomplished poet who wrote poems based on all 150 Psalms.

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