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date: 23 January 2020

Watts, John (i)locked

  • Frank Kidson
  • , revised by Peter Ward Jones


(b 1678; d London, Sept 26, 1763). English bookseller and publisher . He was established in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, by 1713, when he began to issue editions of classical authors. From the outset he often published in conjunction with Jacob (later Jacob and Richard) Tonson, issuing plays, librettos and miscellaneous works. The introduction of the ballad opera at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre gave Watts a brisk trade in the publication of the operas performed there. He issued the first and later editions of The Beggar's Opera (1728), and after this practically the whole of the series of ballad operas (more than 27 altogether) as soon as they were performed. These editions present the airs for the songs, printed from engraved woodblocks, as an appendix, and are especially valuable for giving the old names of the tunes. Another important work is the six-volume The Musical Miscellany (...

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F. Kidson: British Music Publishers, Printers and Engravers
C. Humphries and W.C. Smith: Music Publishing in the British Isles