A nonconformist, Watts was born in Southampton and after a relatively brief career as tutor, writer of a 1714 textbook on logic and the conduct of life used at Oxford, and minister of an independent congregation in Mark Lane, London, he retired in 1712 owing to illness and lived for many years as guest of Sir Thomas Abney at his estate Theobalds in Hertsfordshire. Watts' Divine Songs for the Use of Children, published in 1715 and full of plain moral advice and practical counsel, had gone through hundreds of editions by 1929 and were extremely popular throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, so much so that Lewis Carroll could parody them in the Alice books. His
- Rivers, Isabel. "Watts, Isaac (1674–1748)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. Oct. 2008.