Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/345

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

in framing the measures required to regulate the new colony. He was also the first judicial commissioner of the Western Pacific; and from September 1878 to 18 Aug. 1879 acted as high commissioner in the absence of Sir Arthur Gordon.

In May 1882, being at the time on leave in England, Gorrie became chief justice of the Leeward Islands, and in the same year was knighted. The principal work with which he was associated in this colony was the act for reforming the transfer of land and substituting a system of title by registration, which became law in 1886.

In 1886 Gorrie became chief justice of Trinidad, arriving in that island on 8 Feb. He was not long in identifying himself with the interest of the negroes. He set himself, in his judgments in the court, against the system of forming cocoa plantations on what was known as the 'contract system,' thereby, in the view of the capitalists, gravelyimperilling much of the capital embarked in the industry. In August 1886 he was appointed by the governor, Sir William Robinson, to be chairman of a commission on the trade and taxes of the colony, in which he showed very clearly his leaning towards easing the burden for the negro; nevertheless, even his opponents admitted the great ability of his management of the commission, which placed on record a large body of valuable evidence. In 1890 and 1891 he threw his energy into a project for starting a people's bank in Trinidad, holding meetings and pressing the government to support his bill in the council; this project, after careful consideration by the secretary of state, failed to obtain approval. The island of Tobago meanwhile came under the government of Trinidad, and Gorrie's novel and summary methods of administering justice there began to cause consternation among the planters. It became evident that he was carrying his predilection for the working classes too far, and when his judgments became the subject of appeal in the supreme court, and of criticism in the newspapers, he resorted to an improper use of the power of commitment for contempt of court. Affairs at last reached such a pitch that the secretary of state, on the urgent representations of the legislative council, appointed a special commission to investigate the scandal. The commissioners, Sir William Markby and Sir Frederick Pollock, arrived in Trinidad in April 1892, and, after an inquiry which lasted two months, made a report so adverse to the chief justice that the governor suspended him from the exercise of his duties. Gorrie returned to England with the expressed intention of appealing to the judicial committee of the privy council, but died at Exeter not long after his arrival on 4 Aug. 1892. Gorrie was vigorous and masterful; his manner, particularly in court, was rough and uncouth, and his speech caustic and unceremonious. At the height of his career in Trinidad he was the idol of the negroes, while the rest of Trinidad society could hardly speak sufficiently evil of him. His aims were good, but his methods were ill adapted to attain them.

He married, on 6 Dec. 1855, Marion, daughter of Michael Graham of Edinburgh, who died in 1884, leaving issue.

[Mennell's Dict. Austral. Biogr.; Colonies and India, 13 Aug. 1892; Trinidad Council Papers; Parliamentary Papers, &c.; personal knowledge.]

C. A. H.

GOULBURN, EDWARD MEYRICK (1818–1897), dean of Norwich, born in Chelsea on 11 Feb. 1818, was the eldest son of Edward Goulburn, D.C.L., serjeant-at-law, commissioner in bankruptcy, and recorder and sometime M.P. for Leicester, by his first wife Harriette, third daughter of Philip Nathaniel De Vismes of Notting Hill; his mother was of Huguenot family. Henry Goulburn [q. v.], chancellor of the exchequer, was his uncle. He was educated at Rottingdean and at Eton, whence he was elected scholar of Balliol College, Oxford, matriculating on 29 Nov. 1834, and graduating B.A. with a first class in lit. hum. in 1839, M.A. in 1842, D.C.L. on 15 March 1850, and D.D. on 24 April 1856. From 1841 to 1846 he was fellow, and from 1843 to 1845 tutor and dean, of Merton College. He was ordained deacon on 22 May 1842 and priest in 1843. From 1844 to 1850 he was perpetual curate of Holywell, Oxford, and in February 1847 was appointed chaplain to Samuel Wilberforce [q. v.], bishop of Oxford. On 18 Nov. 1849 he was elected head-master of Rugby School in succession to Archibald Campbell (afterwards archbishop) Tait [q. v.] his former tutor at Balliol, his rival being his friend, William Charles Lake [q. v. Suppl.], who had been elected scholar of Balliol at the same time as Goulburn.

Goulburn remained head-master of Rugby for eight years, but he was antipathetic to the liberal traditions of the place initiated by Arnold and carried on by Tait, and though the last year of his head-mastership was unrivalled for the brilliance of the scholars turned out by Rugby, its numbers had dwindled, and Goulburn felt himself compelled to resign in 1857. He had pre-