Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >
My God, my Portion and my Love. J. Watts. [God Man’s only Happiness.] Published in the first ed.ition of his Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707 (ed. 1709, Book ii., No. 94), in 8 stanzas of 41ines, and headed "God my only Happiness." It is in common use both in full and in an abridged form. In Dale's English Hymn Book, 1874, No. 639, "My God, my life is in Thy love," is also from this hymn, and is composed of stanzas i., ii., v., vii., viii. slightly altered.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
Though no firm documentation exists, ST. ANNE was probably composed by William Croft (PHH 149), possibly when he was organist from 1700-1711 at St. Anne's Church in Soho, London, England. (According to tradition, St. Anne was the mother of the Virgin Mary.) The tune was first published in A Suppleme…