Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/371

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Grey
Grey
259

he had also once taken to complete an important land purchase in New Zealand. By the Dutch also he was liked and trusted, so that in 1858 he successfully mediated between the Free State Boers and the Basutos, and in the same year was able to inform the Cape parliament that the Volksraad of the Orange River Free State had passed resolutions in favour of federation with Cape Colony. Unhappily the colonial office, of which young Lord Carnarvon was then political under-secretary, feared South African union, and took umbrage at Grey's encouragement of it without official permission. Lord Carnarvon, in his own words, thought Grey a dangerous man. In June 1859 the colonial secretary, Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, recalled him in a despatch which, however, recognised his abilities, endowments, and lofty aims. Grey always asserted that Queen Victoria protested against his dismissal and approved of his South African policy. Much exasperated he returned to England, after quitting Cape Town amid general expressions of esteem and regret. Before he reached home, however, the Derby ministry had fallen, and the Duke of Newcastle coming to the colonial office reinstated Grey, albeit with instructions to abandon his federation policy.

A creditable episode in Grey's South African service was the vigour and promptitude with which he sent help to India in the crisis of the mutiny. A despatch sent him from Lord Elphinstone at Bombay apprised him of the outbreak. He at once sent off two batteries of artillery, a large quantity of military stores, 60,000l. in specie, and as many horses as he could collect. He also induced Colonel Adrian Hope, when with the 93rd regiment he put in at Cape Town on his way to Singapore to join Lord Elgin in the Chinese war, to divert his voyage to Calcutta. Grey afterwards sent a detachment of the German legion to India, and emptied his own stables in his efforts to provide horses for the East. In his anxiety to send help to India he did not hesitate to weaken the defensive strength of Cape Colony ; but by personal visits and appeals made to the more powerful Kaffir chiefs he so wrought upon them that they refrained from taking any advantage of the position. Among the journeys he took for this purpose was one into Basutoland, where he conferred with the celebrated Moshesh in his hill fortress, Thaba-Bosingo.

In 1861 the colonial office for the fourth time sent Grey to fill a post of exceptional difficulty. For seven years after his departure from New Zealand peace had been maintained there. But the relations of the whites and Maori grew slowly more and more strained. The natives formed a league to oppose further sales of land, elected a king, and were carelessly allowed to buy guns and gunpowder. In 1860 war broke out over the sale of a piece of land at Waitara in Taranaki. After a year of fighting a truce was patched up, but the situation was full of danger, and Grey was sent to save it. He did not succeed ; for, though he gave up the disputed land at Waitara, he was unable to regain the confidence of the Maori. Nor had the governor any longer complete personal control of the colony's native policy. He had to act on the advice of ministers, and with his ministers Grey was not always on cordial terms. Moreover, in the decade between 1860 and 1870 the New Zealand ministries and colonists were usually out of harmony with the colonial office. Grey sympathised with the colonists, and his relations with Downing Street grew less and less happy. To this unpleasantness was added that caused by his quarrels with General Cameron and General Chute, the officers who commanded in New Zealand during the warfare which broke out in July 1863 and lasted about four years. General Cameron was not only utterly without local knowledge, but lacking in energy. Grey urged him to take more vigorous action, and, when the general declined in 1865 to attack the strong Weraroa pa, marched against it and took it himself. This achievement hastened Cameron's resignation and also embittered feeling at the war office against the governor. To his difficulties was added the objection taken by the colonial office to the confiscation of three million acres of land belonging to insurgent tribes an act assented to by the governor and also to the tone of certain of his despatches. In 1867 the rebels had been repeatedly beaten, and fighting ceased. It was then that the Duke of Buckingham wrote from the colonial office curtly informing Grey, at the end of a letter on other matters, that the name of his successor would be communicated to him.

Technically, Grey was not recalled ; for his term had expired by effluxion of time. But the letter could have but one meaning that his career in the imperial service was ended. In New Zealand this treatment was held to be discourteous and unjust. The colonists and their parliament believed he had been sacrificed for befriending them, and they hastened to show to Grey many public tokens of sympathy and gratitude.

In March 1868 Grey, on the arrival of his successor, Sir George Bowen [q. v. Suppl.],