Sir George Grey, KCB (14 April 1812 – 19 September 1898) was a British soldier, explorer, colonial administrator and writer. He served in a succession of governing positions: Governor of South Australia, twice Governor of New Zealand, Governor of Cape Colony, and the 11th premier of New Zealand.
Sir George Grey
|11th Premier of New Zealand|
13 October 1877 – 8 October 1879
|Preceded by||Harry Atkinson|
|Succeeded by||John Hall|
|3rd Governor of New Zealand|
18 November 1845 – 3 January 1854
|Preceded by||Robert FitzRoy|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Gore Browne|
4 December 1861 – 5 February 1868
|Preceded by||Colonel Thomas Gore Browne|
|Succeeded by||Sir George Bowen|
|Governor of Cape Colony|
|Preceded by||George Cathcart (Charles Henry Darling acting)|
|Succeeded by||Philip Edmond Wodehouse (Robert Wynyard acting)|
|3rd Governor of South Australia|
15 May 1841 – 25 October 1845
|Preceded by||George Gawler|
|Succeeded by||Frederick Robe|
|Born||14 April 1812|
|Died||19 September 1898 86) (aged|
South Kensington, London, England
(m. 1839; died 1898)
|Relatives||John Gray (uncle)|
|Education||Royal Grammar School, Guildford|
|Alma mater||Royal Military College, Sandhurst|
Grey was born in Lisbon, Portugal, just a few days after his father, Lieutenant-Colonel George Grey was killed at the Battle of Badajoz in Spain. He was educated in England. After military service (1829–37) and two explorations in Western Australia (1837–39), Grey became Governor of South Australia in 1841. He oversaw the colony during a difficult formative period. Despite being 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 in 1845.
Grey was the most influential figure during the European settlement of New Zealand. Governor of New Zealand initially from 1845 to 1853, he was Governor during the initial stages of the New Zealand Wars and became a pioneer scholar of the Māori culture, writing a study of Māori mythology and oral history. He was knighted in 1848. In 1854, Grey was appointed Governor of Cape Colony in South Africa, where his resolution of hostilities between the natives and European settlers was praised by both sides. Grey was again appointed Governor of New Zealand in 1861, following the granting of a degree of self-governance to New Zealand, serving until 1868. Appointed in 1877 he served as Premier of New Zealand until 1879.
By political philosophy a Gladstonian liberal and Georgist, Grey eschewed the class system to be part of Auckland's new governance he helped to establish. Cyril Hamshere argues that Grey was a "great British proconsul", although he was also temperamental, demanding of associates, and lacking in some managerial abilities.