George Edward Grey

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George_Edward_Grey.jpg
George Edward Grey
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Georgegrey.jpg
Statue of Sir George Grey in Albert Park, Auckland

Sir George Edward Grey KCB (April 14, 1812 - September 19, 1898) was a 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 in Lisbon, Portugal just a few days 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, Grey wounded in a skirmish with Aborigines they traced the course of the River Glenelg before giving up and retiring to Mauritius to recover. Two years later Grey returned to West Australia, and was again wrecked with his party; they discovered the Gascoyne River, but then had to walk to Perth, barely surviving the journey, much of it without food and almost without water (they survived by drinking liquid mud).

He was the most influential figure during the European settlement of New Zealand during 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.

Later, Grey was appointed Governer of Cape Colony, where he founded the prestigious Grey College in Bloemfontein in 1885 and Grey High School in 1886. Both schools are boys only and considered very strong in academics and sporting endeavours.

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.

He is buried in St Paul's Cathedral.

External links


Preceded by:
Colonel George Gawler
Governor of South Australia
18411845
Succeeded by:
Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Robe
Preceded by:
Captain Robert FitzRoy
Governor of New Zealand
First time 18451855
Succeeded by:
Colonel Thomas Gore Browne
Preceded by:
Colonel Thomas Gore Browne
Governor of New Zealand
Second time 18611868
Succeeded by:
Sir George Ferguson Bowen

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