Explore Themes

Editors, Librarians and Publishers

(page 1 of 6)
Skip to description
Herbert Coleridge
Name : Herbert Coleridge

Herbert Coleridge (1830-1861)

Herbert Coleridge was a philologist and the grandson of the Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He initially practised law at Lincoln's Inn but quickly turned his attention to linguistics. In 1857 he became a member of the Philological Society's 'Unregistered Words' committee along with Richard Chevenix Trench and Frederick Furnivall. This collaboration led to the development of what was to become the Oxford English Dictionary. Coleridge was technically appointed the OED's first editor, in 1859. Only two years later, in April 1861, he died of tuberculosis at the age of 30. 


"I have written to Mr Worcester to thank him for his



There are two letters written by Herbert Coleridge in the Sampson Low Collection. Neither include the year they were written but this is likely to be 1860. In what appears to be a follow up letter from the one he wrote two days earlier, Herbert Coleridge informs Sampson Low that he has received the presentation copy of Worcester's Dictionary and asks for the author's address in Massachusetts in order to send him a letter. 

Joseph Emerson Worcester's (1784-1865) 'A Dictionary of the English Language' was published in 1860 by Sampson Low, Son & Co. Coleridge used Worcester's dictionary to assist him in his early preparations for the new dictionary.


View Herbert Coleridge's letter [opens in a new window] 


Image Rights: From OUP Archives. Reproduced by permission of the Secretary to the Delegates of Oxford University Press. www.oup.com



Editors, Librarians and Publishers (page 1 of 6)