Wagenaar, John

, a Dutch historian, and historiographer to the city of Amsterdam, was born there in 1709, and died in 1773. His principal work is a “History of Holland,” from the earliest times to 1751, in 21 vols. 8vo, the first two of which appeared in 1749. There was a second edition published at Amsterdam in 1752—1759, with many engravings, maps, and portraits by Houbraken. It appears to have been the merit of this work which occasioned his being honoured with the title of historiographer to the city of Amsterdam in 1758. In it he is said to display profound research, sound political principles, and elegance and precision of style; and the Dutch esteem it one of the greatest ornaments to their literature. Wagenaar wrote many other works: 1. “The present state of the United Provinces,” Amst. 1739, 12 vols. 8vo. 2. “Description of the city of Amsterdam,” ibid. 1760, 3 vols. fol. 3. “The character of John de Witt placed in its true light.” He published also some tracts on topics of divinity. 2