‘those two adjuncts of Parliament and Juries are subsidiary and occasional.’ Irritated by this disparagement, the House of Commons appointed a committee to inquire into the matter. On their report that the pamphlet was written by Reeves, the attorney-general was ordered to prosecute him for a libel, and the information was tried on 20 May 1796. The jury considered the pamphlet a very improper publication, but, being of opinion that his motives were not such as laid in the information, they found him not guilty. Reeves, however, was not to be deterred by this prosecution. In 1799 he published, still anonymously, ‘Letter the Second,’ and in 1800 ‘Letter the Third’ and ‘Letter the Fourth.’ A full account of the controversy is given in the ‘Monthly Review’ for 1795 and 1800 (xviii. 443, xxxii. 81).
Reeves's other works are:
- ‘An Enquiry into the Nature of Property and Estates as defined by the Laws of England,’ 8vo, London, 1779.
- ‘A Chart of Penal Laws, exhibiting by Lines and Colours an Historical View of Crimes and Punishments,’ 1779, engraved on two sheets.
- ‘Legal Considerations on the Regency, as far as regards Ireland,’ 8vo, London, 1789.
- ‘A History of the Law of Shipping and Navigation,’ 8vo, London, 1792 (2nd edit. 1807).
- ‘History of the Government of the Island of Newfoundland, with an Appendix containing the Acts of Parliament made respecting the Trade and Fishery,’ 8vo, 1793.
- ‘The Male-contents: a Letter to Francis Plowden, Esq.,’ 8vo, London, 1794.
- ‘The Grounds of Aldermen Wilkes and Boydell's profound Petition for Peace examined and refuted,’ 8vo, London, 1795, an anonymous pamphlet assumed to be by Reeves.
- ‘A Collation of the Hebrew and Greek Texts of the Psalms,’ 8vo, 1800.
- ‘Considerations on the Coronation Oath to maintain the Protestant Reformed Religion and the Settlement of the Church of England,’ 8vo, 1800 (2nd edit. 1801).
- ‘The Case of Conscience solved,’ 8vo, 1801.
- ‘A Proposal of a Bible Society for distributing Bibles on a new Plan,’ 8vo, 1805.
- ‘Observations on what is called the Catholic Bible,’ 8vo, 1807.
- ‘Two Tracts shewing that Americans born before the Independence are by the Laws of England not Aliens,’ 8vo, 1814 and 1816, anonymous, but known to be by Reeves.
In his capacity of king's printer, Reeves published several editions of the Bible and Prayer Book, such as ‘The Book of Common Prayer, with Preface and Notes,’ 8vo, 1801 (12mo, 1807); ‘The New Testament in Greek,’ 8vo, 1803, and ‘Psalterium Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ Hebraicum,’ 12mo, 1804. A finely printed edition of the Bible was issued by him in nine quarto volumes; five of these consisted of notes, and the text of the Bible was sold separately.
His portrait has been engraved after a picture by Drummond.
[Gent. Mag. 1829, pt. ii. pp. 468–71, 482; Allibone's Dict. of Authors, ii. 1764; Mathias's Pursuits of Literature, 14th edit. 1808, pp. 262, 267; Prowse's Hist. of Newfoundland (with portrait).]
REEVES, JOHN (1774–1856), naturalist, youngest son of the Rev. Jonathan Reeves of West Ham, Essex, was born on 1 May 1774. Left an orphan at an early age, he was educated at Christ's Hospital and afterwards entered the counting-house of a tea-broker, where he gained so thorough a knowledge of teas as to recommend him, in 1808, to the office of inspector of tea in England, in the service of the East India Company. In 1812 he proceeded to China as assistant, and subsequently became chief inspector of tea in the company's establishment at Canton. Here he devoted his leisure to investigating the resources of the country and to the pursuit of various branches of science. He procured specimens of natural products, especially such as promised to be of use or likely to serve as ornaments, and transmitted them to England. In this way he contributed very largely to the museums and gardens of this country, besides furnishing material for study to various learned societies, especially the Horticultural Society. The Wistaria sinensis was thus introduced into this country. The drawings by native artists of fish, supplemented by specimens sent by him, furnished the groundwork of Sir John Richardson's ‘Report on the Ichthyology of the Seas of China and Japan’ (Brit. Assoc. Rep. 1845). A great number of these and other drawings, by native artists, are now preserved in the natural history department of the British Museum.
Reeves became a fellow of the Royal and Linnean societies in 1817. His sole literary production appears to have been ‘An Account of some of the Articles of the Materia Medica employed by the Chinese,’ which was published in the ‘Transactions of the Medical Botanical Society,’ 1828.
Reeves returned to England in 1831, and resided at Clapham, where he died on 22 March 1856.
[Proc. Linn. Soc. 1855–6, pp. xliii–xlv; Roy. Soc. Cat.]
REEVES, WILLIAM (1667–1726), divine, the son of William Reeves, was born at Flitwick in Bedfordshire about Christ-