Edward Wells

(1667–1727)

Wells had a turbulent career in the ministry, being involved in many controversies of the time” (Burden). A prolific writer, he translated several religious and secular works from Latin and Greek into English. He also wrote several scientific works on astronomy, chronology, arithmetic and geometry. In addition to a number of religious polemics, Wells published a series of descriptive geographies, largely cribbed from other sources, but widely recommended at schools and universities in the period. His Treatise of Antient and Present Geography’ (1701; and four further editions) was a popular gazetteer intended for students reading classics, while his Historical Geography of the New Testament’ (1708) and the companion Historical Geography of the Old Testament’ (1711–12) plagiarized travellers to the Near East and biblical scholars to give a description of the Holy Land, but also attacked Roman Catholicism and Presbyterianism in passing” (Robert J. Mayhew for DNB).