Grey, Sir George

Grey, Sir George
   Governor of New Zealand and the Cape Colony, Sir George Grey was an enthusiastic follower of Thomas Carlyle and protagonist of British power who believed fervently in Britain’s civilizing mission. Grey was born into a military family and educated at Sandhurst. Temporarily posted to Western Australia as a captain in 1839, he shortly sold his army commission and returned as governor. Appointed governor of New Zealand in 1845, shortly after the outbreak of war with Maoris, Grey waged war with enthusiasm while denying full self-government to the New Zealanders.
   In 1854, he went to South Africa as high commissioner and governor of the Cape Colony, where he waged war against the Xhosa and tried to incorporate the Boer republics into the British Empire, contrary to London’s policy. He went back to New Zealand in 1861, where he again made war, with some success, against the Maori nationalist “King movement.” He was replaced by the British government, tired of the expense of his New Zealand campaigns, in 1868. His campaigns against the Maori had made him popular with some settlers, and he was elected premier of New Zealand from 1877–1879. This eccentric but ruthless man died in 1898.
   See also <>.
    Milne, James. The Romance of a Pro-Consul. London: Chatto & Windus, 1899.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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