Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wasse, Joseph

WASSE, JOSEPH (1672–1738), scholar, was born in Yorkshire, and entered as a sizar at Queens' College, Cambridge, in 1691. He became bible clerk in 1694, scholar in 1695, was B.A. in 1694, fellow and M.A. in 1698, B.D. in 1707. He assisted Ludolph Kuster in his edition of Suidas (1705), and in 1710 published a critical edition of Sallust, based on an examination of nearly eighty manuscripts. In 1711 he was presented to the rectory of Aynhoe, Northamptonshire, by Thomas Cartwright, with whom he was on intimate terms. He passed most of his time in his library at Aynhoe, and, according to Whiston, Dr. Bentley pronounced him the second scholar in England.

To Samuel Jebb's ‘Bibliotheca Literaria’ Wasse contributed extensively, and Bowyer declares that the length of Wasse's articles ruined that venture. He became a proselyte to Samuel Clarke's Arian opinions, and in 1719 published ‘Reformed Devotions,’ dedicated to Cartwright and his wife.

The fine edition of Thucydides by Charles Andrew Duker and Wasse was published in 1731 at Amsterdam, and was reprinted at Glasgow in 1759 with the Latin version by Robert and Andrew Foulis. The original notes contained in the book are not of great value, and compare unfavourably with the Sallust. Wasse contributed scientific articles to the ‘Philosophical Transactions.’ He died unmarried on 19 Nov. 1738. Part of his library was acquired by his successor at Aynhoe, Dr. Francis Yarborough, afterwards principal of Brasenose College, Oxford (1745–1770). The books, which contain a great number of manuscript notes by Wasse, were given by Yarborough's heirs to the college. Wasse's copy of Thucydides, with many manuscript notes, is in the Bodleian Library.

[Chalmers's Biogr. Dict.; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. viii. 129, 367, ix. 490, and authorities there cited; Whiston's Life of Clarke, p. 34; Register of Queens' Coll. Cambr.]

E. C. M.