The Times/1908/Obituary/Frederic Norgate

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Obituary: Frederic Norgate (1908)
412653Obituary: Frederic Norgate1908

Mr. Frederic Norgate

The death, on Monday last, at 47, Ashchurch-grove, Shepherd's-bush, of Mr. Frederic Norgate, in the 90th year of his age, removes one who was probably not only the doyen of English publishers, but one of the oldest Cambridge graduates. A member of a Norfolk family, Mr. Norgate studied at Clare College, and took his B.A. degree in 1839.

He was, we believe, originally intended for the Church but he eventually became a publisher, starting, in 1843, with Mr. Williams, the firm of Williams and Norgate, a house well known in England and abroad as publishers and importers of serious books in and concerning the various Continental and other languages. The firm's most celebrated author is probably Herbert Spencer, in who recent "Life" there are many references to his publishers. Writing to his father in January, 1862, Spencer informs him that he had "succeeded in coming to an arrangement with Williams and Norgate. Every one agrees that they are the best people I could have." Mr. Norgate retired from the firm some time in the "sixties," and of late years had devoted himself to literary pursuits. A very fine Greek scholar, he had also a good general knowledge of Latin and of several modern languages.

Mr. Norgate for many years mad a special study of the bibliography of Caxton's press, and contributed to the Library of 1889 two long and important papers under the title of "Caxtoniana," in which he made considerable additions to the bibliography of the subject as compiled by the late William Blades, obtaining most of his facts from an exhaustive examination of the old auction sale catalogues. Of these latter he also made a special study, contributing to the Library of 1891 two excellent articles in the form of alphabetical lists of the sales respectively held at Sotheby's and at Evans's. He also wrote much on recondite matters for Notes and Queries. Until about a year ago he was a constant visitor to the London Library, in St. James's-square. of which he had been a member since 1863.

Mr. Norgate leaves an only daughter, Miss Kate Norgate, well known for her work in historical research, the author of "England under the Angevin Kings," a contributor to the "Dictionary of National Biography," and the assistant of Mrs. J. R. Green in the production of the elaborately illustrated edition of Green's "Short History of the English People."

This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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