Wasse, Joseph

, a very learned scholar, was born in Yorkshire in 1672, and educated at Queen’s college, Cambridge, where he took his bachelor’s degree in 1694, that of master in 1698, and that of bachelor of divinity in 1707. Before this | he had assisted Kuster in his edition of Suidas, as appears by a letter of his, giving an account of that eminent critic. (See Kuster.) In 1710 Wasse became more generally known to the literary world by his edition of “Sallust,” 4to, the merits of which have been long acknowledged. He amended the text by a careful examination of nearly eighty manuscripts, as well as some very ancient editions. In Dec. 1711 he was presented to the rectory of Aynhoe in Northamptonshire, by Thomas Cartwright, esq. where John Whiston (the bookseller) says “he lived a very agreeable and Christian life, much esteemed by that worthy family and his parishioners.” He had an equal regard for them, and never sought any other preferment. He had a very learned and choice library, in which he passed most of his time, and assisted many of the learned in their publications. He became at length a proselyte to Dr. Clarke’s Arianism, and corresponded much with him and with Will. Whiston, as appears by Whiston’s Life of Dr. Clarke, and his own life. According to Whiston he was the cause of Mr. Wasse’s embracing the Arian sentiments, which he did with such zeal, as to omit the Athanasian creed in the service of the church, and other passages which militated against his opinions. Whiston calls him “more learned than any bishop in England since bishop Lloyd,” and informs us of the singular compliment Bentley paid to him, “When I am dead, Wasse will be the most learned man in England.

That he was a good scholar and critic, his essays in the “Bibliotheca Literaria” afford sufficient 'evidence; but he was not the editor of that work, as some have reported. Dr. Jebb was the editor, but Wasse contributed several pieces, as many others did, and at length destroyed the sale of the work by making his essays too long, particularly his life of Justinian, who filled two whole numbers, and was not then finished. This displeased the readers of the work, and after it had reached ten numbers (at Is. each) it was discontinued for want of encouragement. * What were published make a 4to volume, finished in 1724. Mr. Wasse was the author of three articles in the Philosophical Transactions;!. “On the difference of the height of a human body between morning and night.” 2. “On the effects of Lightning, July 3, 1725, in Northamptonshire.” 3. “An account of an earthquake In Oct. 1731, in Northamptonshire.” He was also a considerable | contributor to the edition of “Thucydides,” which by the name of “Wassii et Dukeri,” Amst. 1721, 2 vols. fol. He died of an apoplexy, November 19, 1738, and was succeeded in his living of Aynhoe by Dr. Yarborough, afterwards principal of Brasenose college, Oxford, who purchased part of his collection of books, many of them replete with ms notes and collections of Mss. by Mr. Wasse. They are now in the library of that college, by the kindness of the heirs of Dr. Yarborough. JohnWhiston adds that Wasse was” a facetious man in conversation, but a heavy preacher; a very deserving charitable man, and universally esteemed." A considerable part of his library appeared in one of Whiston’s sale catalogues. 1


Nichols’s Bowyer. ms Account by Whiston the bookseller. Wkfoion’s. Life. —Gent. Mag. vol. LXXVIIL Dibdin’s Classics.