Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 63.djvu/10

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The Dictionary of National Biography

memoirs to the Dictionary until its close. The lists of names from the middle of the letter M to the end were prepared by Mr. Seccombe and his colleagues. Mr. Archbold retired at the end of 1892, and his place was filled by the appointment of Mr. A. F. Pollard, who has ably and zealously performed the duties of sub-editor since that date, besides contributing numerous useful memoirs. At the beginning of 1896 the final change was made in the arrangements of the editorial office by the appointment of Mr. E. Irving Carlyle as an additional sub-editor, whose chief function was to compile a large number of the smaller miscellaneous articles. Thus at the completion of the undertaking the editorial staff consists of Mr. Lee, whose connection with it has lasted nearly seventeen and a half years; of Mr. Seccombe, whose term of service extends over nine years; of Mr. Pollard, whose term of service extends over seven years and a half; and of Mr. Carlyle, whose term of service extends over four years and a half.

Mr. H. E. Murray has acted as clerk in charge of the Dictionary while the undertaking has been in progress, and has continuously rendered most valuable service to editors and publishers. The whole work has been printed by Messrs. Spottiswoode & Co., and all the proofs have been finally read by Mr. Frederick Adams, their learned and efficient corrector of the press, to whom the Dictionary stands indebted for many useful suggestions and for the detection and removal of many errors.

The ‘Dictionary of National Biography’ supplies notices of 29,120 men and women; of these 27,195 are full substantive articles, and 1,925 are briefer subsidiary articles. It is believed that the names include all men and women of British or Irish race who have achieved any reasonable measure of distinction in any walk of life; every endeavour has been made to accord admission to every statesman, lawyer, divine, painter, author, inventor, actor, physician, surgeon, man of science, traveller, musician, soldier, sailor, bibliographer, book-collector, and printer whose career presents any feature which justifies its preservation from oblivion. No sphere of activity has been consciously overlooked. Niches have been found for sportsmen and leaders of society who have commanded public attention. Malefactors whose crimes excite a permanent interest have received hardly less attention than benefactors. The principle upon which names have been admitted has been from all points of view generously interpreted; the epithet ‘national’ has not been held to exclude the early settlers in America, or natives of these islands who have gained distinction in foreign countries, or persons of foreign birth who have achieved eminence in this country. Great pains have been bestowed on the names of less widely acknowledged importance, and