1812 - 1898 (86 years)
Has more than 100 ancestors but no descendants in this family tree.
||George Edward Grey |
||14 Apr 1812
||19 Sep 1898
||London, Middlesex, England
||30 Aug 2006 |
soldier, explorer, Governor of South Australia , twice Governor of New Zealand , Governor of Cape Colony (South Africa), Premier of New Zealand and a writer.
Grey was born just a few days (8?) after his father, Lieutenant-Colonel Grey of the 30th Foot, was killed at the Battle of Badajoz in Spain. His mother, on the balcony of her hotel in Lisbon, overheard two officers speak of his death and this brought on his premature birth.
As a young man he led, in 1837, a catastrophically ill-prepared expedition of exploration in North-West Australia based from Cape Town - only one man of his party had ever seen northern Australia before. Wrecked, almost drowned and completely lost, with Grey wounded in a skirmish with Aborigines , they traced the course of the Glenelg River before giving up and retiring to Mauritius to recover.
Two years later Grey returned to Western Australia and was again wrecked with his party at Kalbarri ; they discovered the Gascoyne River but then had to walk to Perth , surviving the journey through the efforts of Maigo, a Whadjuk Noongar who organised food and what water could be found (they survived by drinking liquid mud). At about this time Grey became one of the few Europeans ever to learn to speak the Noongar language of South West Western Australia .
Governorship and premiership
He was the third Governor of South Australia from 1841 to 1845 . He oversaw the colony during a difficult formative period. Despite being seen as less hands-on than his predecessor, George Gawler , his fiscally responsible measures ensured the colony was in good shape by the time he departed for New Zealand .
He was the most influential figure during the European settlement of New Zealand for the second half of the 19th century. Governor of New Zealand initially from 1845 to 1853 , Grey was again appointed Governor in 1861 following the granting of a degree of self-governance to New Zealand, serving until 1868 before his nomination as Premier in 1877 , in which capacity he served until 1879 . Grey greatly influenced the final form of the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 , with the exception of the provisions relating to the direct election of the Governor.
Kawau Island was bought by Grey in 1862, on his return to New Zealand for his second term as governor. For 25 years he lavished large amounts of his personal wealth on the island's development, including enlarging and remodelling Mansion House, the former residence of the Kawau copper mine superintendent. Here he planted a huge array of exotic trees and shrubs, acclimatised many bird and animal species, and amassed a celebrated collection of rare books and manuscripts, artworks and curiosities, and artefacts from the M people over whom he had ruled.
Grey was appointed Governor of Cape Colony for the period 5 December 1854 - 15 August 1861 . He founded Grey College, Bloemfontein in 1855 and Grey High School in Port Elizabeth in 1856 .
During his second term as governor of New Zealand in the 1860s, Grey launched the Invasion of the Waikato to take control of the rich M agricultural region. The war brought many British troops to New Zealand, at one time more were situated there than anywhere else in the world. In 1875 he was elected Superintendant of Auckland Province , and was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1875 elections . Grey opposed the abolition of the provinces . From 1877 - 1879 he was Premier of New Zealand.
Grey was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1848.
Places named in honour of Grey include Greytown in the Wairarapa region of New Zealand, Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal , South Africa and the Division of Grey , an Australian Electoral Division in South Australia .