A calamity that has recently befallen me, in common with multitudes of other persons,—the decease of the Illustrious Duke by whom this work was originated, and whose munificence has constantly supplied the chief means of its support,—requires me to announce that the event so widely and deeply deplored will not cause any interruption of the publication.

His princely patronage, granted spontaneously, and with a kindness and delicacy not to be surpassed, has been continued during nearly a quarter of a century. The carrying-out of his intentions, with respect to my Lexicon, now devolves upon His Widow, Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland, by her own particular desire.

The intense interest that has ever been felt by Her Grace in all the great deeds whereby the departed Duke has established countless claims upon the gratitude of his country is well known; and it is, to me, a source of the utmost thankfulness and pride that my own undertaking is included among the objects that have been honoured by the patrongage, and stamped with the approval, of them both.


March, 1865