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Containing a Faithful Account of
THE LIVES, ACTIONS, AND CHARACTERS,
Molt Eminent Perlons
OF ALL AGES AND ALL COUNTRIES;
REVOLUTIONS OF STATES,
THE SUCCESSION OF SOVEREIGN PRINCES,
ANCIENT AND MODERN...Y
Collected from the belt Authorities,
BY JOHN WATKINS, A.M. L.L.D.
Vita enim mortuorum in memoria vivorum eft pofita.-CICERO.
Printed by T. Davifon and T. Gillet, Fleet-ftreet,
For R PHILLIPS, No. 71, St. Paul's Church-Yard;'
Sold by T. HURST and J. WALLIS, Paternofter Row; CARPENTER and Co. Old
[Price 10s. 6d. boards, or 12s. bound and lettered.]
Value of the Subject, or on the Utility of
N prefenting this Work to the Public there can be no occafion for the the Plan. A BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL LIBRARY, in the form of a Dictionary, and in the compafs of a fingle volume, challenges, at least, the fame degree of refpect, as Geographical Collections of a fimilar nature. It is defigned to answer the purpose of an easy and fatiffactory reference on all points of enquiry, connected with the interesting fubjects of BIOGRAPHY, CHRONOLOGY, AND HISTORY.
In drawing up the various articles confiderable pains have been taken to introduce every prominent and characteristic event and circumftance. The works of eminent Writers have been carefully enumerated, and their best editions specified; the diftinctive merits of Artifts have been pointed out, and their principal productions mentioned; and the most remarkable events in the lives of more active characters, as in those of Sovereign Princes, Warriors, and Statesmen, have been perfpicuously narrated, and the dates affixed and determined with fcrupulous exactness. Simplicity, and even a ftudied plainnefs of ftyle, have been adopted, as most suitable to the nature of the work; and it may fafely be affirmed, that in no fingle article has any attempt been made, to give a deceitful or partial colouring to the character delineated.
The Author has endeavoured to. render his work COMPLETE, by inferting every interefting name and event likely to be fought for in a collection of this kind; and although he cannot prefume that there are not many defects and omiffions, yet it will be obvious on comparifon, that his work contains from one to two thoufand articles more, than will be found in any fimilar work in the English, or perhaps in any other language. Obferving, with regret, the great number of dif-tinguifhed names which have been paffed over by preceding Biographers, he has diligently employed himself in refcuing a confiderable number of those names from neglect and oblivion. He has not contented himfelf with barely gleaning from all other Dictionaries, but has fought in every refpectable quarter for memoirs of departed excellence. Many fingle memoirs and fugitive pieces, and many fcarce tracts and voluminous periodical publications, have in the progrefs of the work been feduloudy examined. In reflecting on this part of his labours he feels confiderable fatisfaction and pleature; he laments, however, that all his enquiries have not been alike fuccefsful, and he is still under the neceffity of foliciting communications from those intelligent perfons who may difcover any omiffion, which their own particular fources of information may enable them to fupply.
As the General Biographical Dictionary, in fifteen volumes octavo, is at present the only ftandard work of that kind in our language, an afterism (*) has been affixed to every name in the prefent collection, which is not to be found in that work, Many of thefe are
fo important that it will strike the reader with furprize, that, in the formation of a general body of Biographical Literature, they could poffibly have been omitted. Moft of the articles thus marked are entirely original, and in the perufal it is prefumed, they will be found curious and interefting.
The chronology has been carefully formed from Ufher, Blair, and Prieftley, and the dates have been thus regulated, B. C. fignifies before the Chriftian æra, and A. D. in the year of Chrift.
London, April 7, 1800.
The undermentioned are the principal Works which the Author has confulted in the formation of this BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.
The Hiftorical Dictionary, including Bayle, in 10 vols. folio.
Collier's Hiftorical Dictionary, 4 vols. folio.
The General Biographical Dictionary, in 15 vols. 8vo. 1798.
Grainger's Biographical Hory of England, 4 vols. 8vo.
Wood's Athenæ Oxonienfis, 2 vols. folio.
Univerfal Ancient and Modern Hiftory, 60 vols. 8vo.
Burney's Hiftory of Mufic.
The General Biography, edited by Dr. Aikin, vol. 1,