Moser, Joseph (DNB00)

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MOSER, JOSEPH (1748–1819), artist, author, and magistrate, son of Hans Jacob Moser, a Swiss artist, and nephew of George Michael Moser [q. v.], was born in Greek Street, Soho, in June 1748. He was instructed in enamel painting by his uncle, and exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1774 to 1782, and again in 1787, but after his marriage to a daughter of Peter Liege, an eminent surgeon of Holles Street, Cavendish Square, he abandoned the profession, and retired into the country. After an absence of three years Moser returned to London and devoted himself to literary pursuits. He wrote upon the topics of the day in the ‘European Magazine’ and other periodicals, and published many political pamphlets, dramas, and works of fiction, which enjoyed but a temporary popularity. About 1794 he was appointed a deputy-lieutenant for Middlesex and a magistrate for Westminster, sitting first at the Queen's Square court and subsequently at Worship Street. This post, the duties of which he fulfilled with zeal and ability, he held until his death, which took place at Romney Terrace, Westminster, 22 May 1819. Moser's writings included:

  1. ‘Adventures of Timothy Twig, Esq., in a Series of Poetical Epistles,’ 1794.
  2. ‘Turkish Tales,’ 1794.
  3. ‘Anecdotes of Richard Brothers,’ 1795, in which he exposed the pretensions of that enthusiast and his supporter, N. B. Halhed [q. v.]
  4. ‘Tales and Romances of Ancient and Modern Times,’ 5 vols. 1808.

He also wrote several slight dramatic pieces of little merit; they are enumerated in Baker's ‘Biographia Dramatica.’ Four seem to have been published, but none are in the British Museum Library. A memoir of Moser, with a portrait engraved by W. Ridley from a picture by S. Drummond, appeared in the ‘European Magazine,’ August 1803.

[European Mag. 1803, ii. 83; Gent. Mag. 1819, i. 653; Baker's Biog. Dram. i. 527; Royal Academy Catalogues; Lowndes's Bibl. Man.]

F. M. O'D.