1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Möser, Justus

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MOSER, JUSTUS (1720-1794), German publicist and statesman, was born at Osnabrtick on the 14th of December, 1720. Having studied jurisprudence at the universities of Jena and Gottingen, he settled in his native town as a lawyer. The confidence he inspired among his fellow citizens soon led to his being appointed adtvocatus patriae (state attorney). On the appointment of the duke of York (son of George III. of England) to the lay Protestant bishopric of Osnabrtick, he was attached to the person of the new ruler as legal adviser, and continued in this office of trust for twenty years. From 1762 to 1768 he was justiciarius (chief justice) of the criminal court in Osnabrück; and in 1768 was made Geheirner Referendar (privy councillor of justice). He died at Osnabrück on the 8th of January 1794. Not only as a statesman and administrator, but also as a publicist, Moser occupied a leading position among the men of his time. His history of Osnabrück (1768; 2nd ed. 1780; 3rd ed. 1819) is a masterly work. In his Patriotische Phantasien (1775-1786; and ed. by his daughter, I. W. J. von Voigts, 1804; new ed. by R. Ztillner, 1871) he shows himself in advance of his times, pleading as he does for a national organic development of a state in the place of arbitrary laws imposed by the sovereign. His Verrnischte Schriften (published by F Nicolai with a biography, 1797-1798) also display a deep insight into human nature and sparkle with humour and witty sallies. Moser was also a poet of some repute and wrote a tragedy, Arminius (1749). A statue of him by Drake was unveiled in Osnabrtick in 1836.

His collected works, Sdrntliche Werke, were published by B. R. Abeken (10 vols., 1842-1844). See j. Kreyssig, Justus Moser (1857); L. Rupprecht, Justus M iisers soziale und wlkswirtschaftliche Anschauungen (1892); K. Mollenhauer, Mosers Anteil an der Wiederbelebung des deutschen Geistes (1896).