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GEORGE EDWARD LYNCH COTTON, D.D.
BISHOP OF CALCUTTA, AND METROPOLITAN.
WITH SELECTIONS FROM
HIS JOURNALS AND CORRESPONDENCE.
A FEW WORDS are necessary to explain the change of editorship which will be apparent in this volume. When, in 1866, the sincere regard or warm friendship entertained towards the late Bishop of Calcutta passed into mournful and affectionate reverence for his memory, a desire was expressed within the circle of his intimate friends, that a published memoir should make the story of his life more widely known. In behalf of the Indian Church this desire was echoed in India. Through the kindness of the present Dean of Westminster it was partially met; and to him are due the first three chapters, which contain a sketch of the Bishop's early years and English career, with reminiscences of him gathered from various sources. It was a work of greater difficulty to provide for the editing of the second and more important section of the biography, that, namely, which was to give an account of the episcopate. There were very few persons in England sufficiently acquainted with Indian ecclesiastical matters to undertake the task, and, of these few, none could command the necessary leisure. When at length, after long delay, all hope of securing a more able editor faded away, the question of the memoir became a personal one for myself. The moment arrived when, had I stood aloof, the project must have fallen to the ground. Under
these circumstances it appeared to be my duty to face the responsibility of carrying it out, rather than to yield wholly to self-distrust. It seemed right to make an effort that might in some measure express my sense of that loyalty towards the Bishop which, unchilled by years of separation, seemed to acquire a yet brighter glow when no renewal of earthly intercourse could be looked for. Thus the work of compiling the greater part of the following pages passed unavoidably and almost insensibly into my hands. In discharging this trust, my aim has been to make the Bishop's words the record, as far as possible, of his mind and work, and to introduce supplementary matter only as the framework of his journals and letters, or as links of connexion or explanation. Some subjects and incidents seemed to demand a closer and more concentrated treatment than isolated letters could supply. In all such cases I have desired faithfully to exhibit, in a more expanded narrative, my husband's sentiments and motives of action so far as these could be drawn from a large amount of public and private correspondence and from my own knowledge of his character.
I have to acknowledge obligations to various sources whence materials have been derived. I am much indebted to Lord Lawrence who, as Viceroy, permitted me to have the use of the ecclesiastical correspondence with the Government of India; to private friends in Calcutta, who undertook to superintend the tedious labour of copying the large official correspondence left in Bishop's Palace; and to many others, both in India and England, who have contributed a large collection of the Bishop's more private letters. I lie under an obligation of a different kind to Professor Cowell and the Rev. J. N. Simpkinson, who furnished respectively a brief sketch of
the Calcutta University, and a review of the Bishop's second charge. Except for aid in these two instances, most kindly rendered, and by myself gratefully appreciated, the work has derived scarcely any advantage from the direct assistance of others. If I abstain from a more specific acknowledgment of some valued criticism on one or more isolated sections, it is because I desire to bear the undivided responsibility of blemishes and deficiencies of which I am fully conscious.
S. A. C.