Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/369

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Gregory
Grey
357

recommendation of Lord Granville, governor of Ceylon, having been sworn a member of the Irish privy council early in the same year, and in January 1872 sailed for that dependency, in which he remained for over five years. In this position Gregory exhibited the highest administrative qualities, and his tenure of the governorship was one of uninterrupted success. He 'spent more money on reproductive works than any other governor, doing much to stimulate the cultivation of coffee and tea, and to improve the harbours of the island.' He was also active in restoring the architectural remains of the ancient Kandyan kings. In 1876 he received the prince of Wales in Colombo on the occasion of his visit to India, and was made K.C.M.G. A statue of Gregory stands before the museum at Colombo. In 1877 he resigned his office and returned to Ireland. Thenceforward Gregory took no active part in public affairs, though his interest in them remained keen. As an Irish landlord he approved Gladstone's Land Act of 1881. But he was stoutly opposed to the home-rule movement; and in 1881 he printed privately a 'Confidential Letter,' in which he combated the separatist aims of Parnell and his followers. He had, however, a deep sympathy with oppressed nationalities, and with most aspirations for local independence. He was in favour of the recognition of the independence of the southern states during the American civil war; and in 1882 he advocated the cause of Arabi Pasha in letters to the 'Times.' Subsequently to his retirement from the Ceylon government he paid three visits to that island. In 1889 he contributed to the 'Nineteenth Century' an article on Daniel O'Connell, whom he had known well in early life. After 1890 Gregory's health gradually failed, and he died at St. George's Place, London, on 6 March 1892, from the effects of a chill contracted when attending a meeting of the trustees of the National Gallery.

Gregory was twice married : first, in January 1872, to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Clay and widow of James Temple Bowdoin, a lady possessed of considerable private fortune, who died in 1873; secondly, on 2 March 1880, to Augusta, youngest daughter of Dudley Persse of Roxborough, co. Galway, who survived him with one son, William Robert Gregory.

Gregory was a man of great natural abilities, real political talent, and marked personal charm, who, but for a certain inherent instability, might easily have attained to the most eminent political positions. He was an excellent landlord, and enjoyed through the worst phases of Irish agrarian agitation the regard of his tenantry and the goodwill of all classes of his countrymen.

The main authority for Gregory's career is his autobiography, written in his retirement between the years 1884 and 1891, and published in 1894 by Lady Gregory. The portrait prefixed to that work conveys a somewhat erroneous impression of his figure, which was slight and delicate, though his head was massive.

[Sir William Gregory, K.C.M.G.: an Autobiogrnphy, 1894 ; Burke's Landed Gentry; Men of the Time for 1891 ; obituary notice in Times, 8 March 1892 ; F. B. Lawley's Racing Life of Lord George Bentinck ; Ferguson's Ceylon in the Jubilee Year.]

C. L. F.

GREY, Sir GEORGE (1812-1898), governor of South Australia, of New Zealand (twice), and of Cape Colony, and prime minister of New Zealand, was only son of Lieutenant-colonel Grey of the 30th foot regiment, and was born on 12 April 1812 at Lisbon. Eight days previously his father, who commanded a division of the storming party at the fall of Badajoz, was mortally wounded in the third assault there. The Grey family, to which this officer belonged, and which carried on a banking business in London, was a branch of the Greys of Groby, now represented in the peerage by the Earl of Stamford. Young George Grey was educated at Sandhurst. A college friend describes him there as 'a bright, rosy-cheeked subaltern, A 1 at mathematics, fortifications, military survey, languages, and general knowledge.' He was granted a commission in the 83rd foot in 1829, a lieutenancy in 1833, and a captaincy in 1839. In the last-named year he sold his commission and left the army. While a subaltern he was for four years quartered in Ireland, where the distress and discontent of the peasantry made an impression on his mind deep enough to affect his aims and policy when governor and colonial reformer in after years. In 1836 Grey volunteered to explore the north-western coast of Western Australia. The Royal Geographical Society accepted his offer, and with a friend, Lieutenant Lushington, he landed near Hanover Bay in December 1837. Utterly ignorant of the Australian climate and natives, they began their journey in midsummer, and the party suffered great hardships from heat and thirst, and in struggling over burning rocks and among broken scrub-covered gorges and hillsides. They discovered a river and some fairly useful country; but in a skirmish with a tribe of aggressive blacks, Grey was speared in the hip, and though he shot his assailant and put the other natives to flight, the wound was