Barkly, Henry (DNB01)

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BARKLY, Sir HENRY (1815–1898), colonial governor, born in 1815, was the only son of Æneas Barkly of Monteagle in Ross-shire, a West India merchant. He received a commercial education at Bruce Castle school, Tottenham, and afterwards engaged in business pursuits. On 26 April 1845 he was returned to parliament for Leominster as 'a firm supporter of Sir Robert Peel's commercial policy.' He retained his seat until his appointment on 12 Dec. 1848 as governor and commander-in-chief of British Guiana, where he owned estates. On his arrival at Georgetown he found that the combined court had refused to grant supplies unless the salaries of government officials were reduced, and that the members of the court regarded every representative of the home government as an enemy of the colony. By conciliatory proceedings he overcame much of this prejudice, and obtained supplies for the administration. During his government he furnished the British parliament with much information concerning the colony, and advocated the introduction of coolie and Chinese labour, an innovation which has since been successfully attempted. He also endeavoured to develop the resources of the country by the introduction of railways. At the close of his term of office he left the colony contented and comparatively prosperous. On 18 July 1853 he was nominated K.C.B., and on 9 Aug. he left Guiana to succeed Sir Charles Edward Grey [q. v.] as governor of Jamaica. In that island, as in Guiana, he found a state of tension between the legislature and the executive, and he was equally successful in bringing about a more amicable feeling. Mollified by some modifications in the constitution, the assembly consented to renew the import duty which they had suffered to expire. Barkly left the island in May 1856. On 24 Nov. he was appointed governor of Victoria by Sir William Molesworth [q. v.], in succession to Sir Charles Hotham [q.v.] In 1856 he summoned the first legislature assembled after the inauguration of the system of responsible government in the colony. He remained at Melbourne until 1863, when he was nominated on 17 Sept. governor of Mauritius. The question of coolie labour was at that time, and long afterwards, of great importance, and Barkly did much to place the relations of capital and labour on an equitable footing.

On 19 Aug. 1870 Barkly became governor of Cape Colony in succession to Sir Philip Edmund Wodehouse [q. v. Suppl.] On his arrival at the Cape of Good Hope the question of the establishment of a full measure of self-government was under discussion. While Barkly, like his predecessor, warmly supported the introduction of responsible government, he showed more regard for colonial feeling, and was able to dissipate much of the opposition to the new scheme of government by showing that current suspicion of it was founded on misapprehension. In 1872 he succeeded in obtaining the passage of an act fully regulating the new form of government. In November 1870 Barkly was appointed high commissioner for settling the affairs of the territories adjacent to the eastern frontier of Cape Colony. In October 1871, on the issue of the Keate award, he proclaimed Griqualand West, which contained the diamond area, a British dependency. His administration of the district was severely criticised as favouring the formation of the diamond monopoly (cf. Stow, A Review of the Barkly Administration, 1893). On 9 March 1874 he was gazetted G.C.M.G. Barkly East in Cape Colony and Barkly West in Griqualand West were named after him.

In 1874, however, he found himself at variance with the colonial secretary, Lord Carnarvon, and with James Anthony Froude [q. v. Suppl.], in regard to the question of South African confederation. While agreeing with Carnarvon in regarding confederation as ultimately desirable, he dissuaded him from attempting to force it on Cape Colony in face of the hostility of the ministry of Sir John Charles Molteno [q. v. Suppl.] Barkly realised from his long experience of colonial politics that any attempt on the part of the home authorities to appeal to the electorate against the colonial ministry would be perilous. His views, however, were not adopted, and on the expiration of his term of office in 1877 Carnarvon selected Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere [q.v.] to urge on his scheme of confederation. On 21 March 1877 Barkly retired on a pension. On 8 Dec. 1879 he was nominated one of the commissioners on the defence of British possessions and commerce abroad. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society on 2 June 1864 and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1870. He served on the council of the Geographical Society from 1879 to 1883 and from 1885 to 1889. He was also president of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archæological Society in 1887-8, and made several interesting contributions to its 'Transactions.' In later life he was an active member of the committee of the London Library. He died at 1 Bina Gardens, South Kensington, on 20 Oct. 1898, and was buried on 26 Oct. at Brompton cemetery. Barkly was twice married, first on 18 Oct. 1840, at Aldenham in Hertfordshire, to Elizabeth Helen, daughter of John F. Timins of Hilfield; she died at Melbourne on 17 April 1857. In 1860 Barkly married Anne Maria, only daughter of Sir Thomas Simson Pratt [q. v.] By his first wife he had two sons.

His son, Arthur Cecil Stuart Barkly (1843–1890), colonial governor, was educated at Harrow, and became a lieutenant in the carabineers. In November 1866 he was nominated private secretary to his father in the Mauritius, and afterwards filled the same office at the Cape of Good Hope. In August 1877 he was appointed a resident magistrate in Basutoland. He took part in the Basuto campaigns in 1879 and 1880, and in November 1881 was appointed chief commissioner of the Seychelles. In January 1886 he became lieutenant-governor of the Falkland Islands, but returned to the Seychelles in the following year. In 1888 he was nominated governor of Heligoland, where he remained until its transfer to Germany in August 1890. He died on 27 Sept. 1890, while on a visit to Stapleton Park, Pontefract.

[Men and Women of the Time, 1895; Times, 22, 26, 27 Oct. 1898; Foster's Baronetage and Knightage; Colonial Office Lists; Official Returns of Members of Parl.; Gent. Mag. 1840 ii. 536, 1857 ii. 327, 346; Rodway's Hist. of British Guiana, 1894, iii. 109-12; Gardner's Hist. of Jamaica, 1873, pp. 448, 452; Molteno's Life and Times of Sir J. C. Molteno, 1900, passim; Martineau's Life of Frere, 1895, ii. 171, 173; Theal's South Africa (Story of the Nations), 1894, p. 326; Reply of President Burgers to the Despatches of Sir H. Barkly (Official Corresp. of South African Rep.), 1874; Bowen's Thirty Years of Colonial Government, ed. S. Lane-Poole, 1889, ii. 75–6, 81, 223; Geogr. Journal, 1898, xii. 621–2.]

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