No complete biography of my Father has been written, nor could any such task now be attempted. It was deliberately declined, soon after his death in 1859, by the united judgment of his widow and children. And this decision was taken on two grounds. The chief and most obvious objection to the undertaking lay in the fact that the main work of his life was done in the Colonial Office as Permanent Under-Secretary) under conditions precluding its being claimed as his own so that any biographical record of it must of necessity have been so imperfect as to be misleading. In the second place, the thought of publishing any biography of one who in all things so deliberately preferred privacy appeared to us to be almost forbidden by the very strength of his influence.
Yet this natural reluctance has in some degree been lessened by time; and it so happens that each of his surviving sons did publish something respecting him. My brother Fitzjames prefixed a short "Biographical Notice" to the cheap edition of "Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography," published soon after my fathers death. This "Notice," while giving the outward facts of my fathers life, severely refrains, (under the influence of the feelings just referred to,) from any fulness of personal history.