Reeve, Joseph (DNB00)


REEVE, JOSEPH (1733–1820), biblical scholar and Latin poet, son of Richard Reeve of Island Hill in the parish of Studley, Warwickshire, was born on 11 May 1733. In his fourteenth year he was sent to the college of the English jesuits at St. Omer; on 7 Sept. 1752 he entered the novitiate of the society at Watten; and he was professed of the four vows on 2 Feb. 1770. He taught humanities at St. Omer and at Bruges for eight years. Being ordained priest, he defended the whole course of theology at Liège in Lent 1767, and then he assisted the Benedictine nuns at Ypres for some months. In August 1767 he was sent to Ugbrooke Park as chaplain to Lord Clifford, and he remained there until his death on 2 May 1820. The funeral sermon by Dr. George Oliver (1781–1861) [q. v.] has been printed (Catholic Spectator, July 1825, pp. 279–82; Oliver, Cornwall, p. 396).

He was author of: 1. ‘Narrative concerning the Expulsion of the English Jesuits from their College at St. Omer,’ manuscript at Stonyhurst; some extracts are printed in Foley's ‘Records,’ vol. v. 2. ‘Ugbrooke Park: a Poem,’ London, 1776, 4to; 2nd edit. Exeter, 1794 (Davidson, Bibl. Devoniensis, p. 128). 3. ‘History of the Bible,’ Exeter, 1780, 8vo—mainly a free translation of the ‘Abrégé’ of Royaumont; in later editions Reeve completely recast the work. A new edition, revised by W. J. Walsh, appeared at Dublin in 1882, 8vo. 4. ‘Practical Discourses on the Perfections and wonderful Works of God,’ Exeter, 1788, 12mo; reprinted at Exeter in 1793, with a second volume, entitled ‘Practical Discourses upon the Divinity and wonderful Works of Jesus Christ.’ 5. ‘A View of the Oath tendered by the Legislature to the Roman Catholics of England,’ London, 1790; answered in ‘An Argumentative Letter,’ by William Pilling, a Franciscan friar. 6. ‘Miscellaneous Poetry, in English and Latin,’ 2nd edit., Exeter, 1794, 12mo, including, among other items, Addison's ‘Cato’ in Latin verse, and an eclogue, ‘S. Catharina de morte triumphans.’ 7. ‘A Short View of the History of the Christian Church, from its first Establishment to the Present Century,’ 3 vols., Exeter, 1802–3, 12mo; reprinted, 3 vols., York, 1820; and Dublin, 1860, 8vo.

Many of his letters and manuscripts are preserved in the archives of the English province of the Society of Jesus.

[De Backer's Bibl. de la Compagnie de Jésus; Foley's Records, vii. 641; Oliver's Cornwall, pp. 395, 560; Oliver's Jesuit Collections, p. 178.]

T. C.