Page:The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.djvu/14

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vi
PREFACE.

of Australasian biography, in his "Australian Dictionary of Dates and Men of the Time," published in 1879. "Much," however, "has happened" during the thirteen years which have elapsed since this book saw the light, and as regards the biographical portion it is now completely out of date, except in the case of those "worthies" whose careers had been closed by death prior to 1879. Even as regards these, however, their lives are given in the present volume in almost every instance in an expanded and revised form, the result of much laborious personal research. In addition to the valuable aid derived from his "Men of the Time," I am indebted to Mr. Heaton for a considerable amount of information deduced from his valuable stores of Australasian data in print and manuscript.

I have to return my sincere thanks for much assistance afforded me by the present Agents-General, as well as by their immediate predecessors, and by the able and courteous Secretaries to their several offices. In this connection I may especially mention the late Sir Arthur Blyth, the predecessor of Sir John Bray in the London representation of South Australia. That gentleman kindly revised my list of "worthies" of that colony, and covered it with copious annotations drawn from his long experience of South Australia and his special aptitude for biographical investigation and local chronology. As regards Tasmania, Sir E. N. C. Braddon performed for me much the same services, and in the case of South Australia and Queensland I am specially indebted to Mr. S. Deering, the Assistant Agent-General of the former colony, and to Mr. C. S. Dicken, C.M.G., Secretary to the Agent-General for the latter, both of whom bring to bear on all matters connected with their several colonies a very accurate personal knowledge of their history and circumstances. I am also under considerable obligations to Mr. S. Yardley, of the New South Wales, Mr. W. Kennaway, C.M.G., of the New Zealand, and to Mr. S. B. H. Rodgerson, of the Victoria office.

The most substantial contribution in the way of literary assistance I have received from Mr. James Backhouse Walker, of Hobart, whose equally accurate memory and memoranda have enabled him, as his kindness prompted him, to supply me with a number of admirably compiled biographies, which add an element of real historical value to the department of the work which he generously undertook, and which, in addition to much original matter, comprised the laborious revision of the biographies of eminent Tasmanians which I already had in print, when I had the good fortune to be introduced to him by a member of the eminent firm of Tasmanian publishers, Messrs. Walch and Co., of Hobart.

Next in order I must acknowledge my obligations to my friends Mr. A. Patchett Martin and Mr. H. B. Marriott Watson, both of whom have not only contributed a number of complete lives, but have greatly aided me in the selection of names and the revision of proofs. In this connection, as very valuable and substantial helpers, I must also mention Mr. G. W. Rusden, the distinguished historian of Australia and New Zealand, who