Wase, Christopher (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 59
Wase, Christopher

by Edgar Cardew Marchant
1904 Errata appended.
Contains subarticle Christopher Wase (1662–1711).

WASE, CHRISTOPHER (1625?–1690), scholar, son of John Wase of London, was born at Hackney about 1625. He was educated at Eton, and in 1645 was admitted scholar of King's College, Cambridge (Harwood, Alumni Eton. p. 24). In 1647 the headmaster of Eton published Wase's Greek version of Grotius's ‘Baptizatorum Puerorum Institutio’ (other editions 1650, 1665, 1668, and 1682). Wase became fellow of King's, and graduated B.A. in 1648. In 1649 he published a translation of Sophocles's ‘Electra,’ dedicated to Princess Elizabeth, with an appendix designed to show his devotion to the Stuart house. Walker (Sufferings of the Clergy, ii. 150) says that Wase also delivered a feigned letter from the king to the provost of King's. He was deprived of his fellowship and left England. Being captured at sea, he was imprisoned at Gravesend, but escaped, and served in the Spanish army against the French. He was taken prisoner, but was released, and returned to England and became tutor to the eldest son of Philip Herbert, first earl of Montgomery [q. v.] In 1654 he dedicated to his pupil a translation of the ‘Cynegeticon’ of Faliscus Gratius. Waller addressed a copy of verses to Wase on this performance.

In 1655 Wase proceeded M.A. and was appointed headmaster of Dedham royal free school. From 1662 to 1668 he was headmaster of Tonbridge school, the register of which states that he was B.D., and educated at the school Thomas Herbert, eighth earl of Pembroke [q. v.] In 1671 he became superior beadle at law and printer to the university of Oxford. He died on 29 Aug. 1690.

Thomas Hearne, in his preface to Leland's ‘Itinerary,’ refers to him as an ‘eminent philologer.’ His manuscripts are preserved in the library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford (Fowler, Hist. Corpus Christi College, Oxford, pp. 401–2). A small oval portrait is mentioned by Granger (Biogr. Hist. iii. 95).

Besides the works mentioned, Wase published: 1. ‘In Mirabilem Caroli II … restitutionem carmen gratulatorium,’ London, 1660, fol. 2. ‘Methodi practicæ specimen; an Essay of a Practical Grammar,’ 1660; 8th edit. amended, 1682. 3. ‘English-Latin and Latin-English Dictionary,’ 1661. 4. ‘Latin Version of Sir John Spelman's Life of Alfred,’ 1678, fol. 5. ‘Considerations concerning Free Schools in England,’ Oxford, 1678, 8vo, urging an increase in the number of schools and the claims of scholars on the wealthy. 6. ‘Translation of Cicero's Tusculans,’ 1683. 7. ‘Animadversiones Nonianæ,’ Oxford, 1685, 4to. 8. ‘C. Wasii Senarius, sive de Legibus et Licentia veterum Poetarum,’ Oxford, 1687, 4to.

Wase's son, Christopher (1662–1711), matriculated from Magdalen College on 19 Oct. 1677, graduated B.A. from Corpus Christi College in 1681, M.A. on 23 March 1684–5, was proctor in 1691, and graduated B.D. in 1694. He was vicar of Preston in Gloucestershire from 1687 to 1690, and dying on 4 April 1711 was buried in Corpus chapel. He was a great collector of coins (see Hearne, Collections, i. 133 et seq. passim), which he left apparently to his college (Fowler, pp. 401–2; see also Wood's Life and Times, ed. Clark, passim, and Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714).

[Authorities cited; Wood's Athenæ, vol. i. p. cvii, vol. iii. col. 884; Wood's Life and Times, ed. Clark; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iii. 469, v. 208; Chalmers's Biogr. Dict.; Cat. of British Museum; Hill's Boswell, v. 445; Register of Tonbridge school.]

E. C. M.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.275
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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