Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/373

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Grey
Grey
361

a better speaker than writer, and on the platform reached at moments a very high level indeed, in spite of faults of vagueness, prolixity, and a too deliberate utterance. Ungifted with incisiveness, analysing power, or command of detail, he usually failed in debate; but his ability to sway crowds was at times remarkable, and was gained without recourse to vulgar methods, for his dreamy eloquence was never marred by coarseness, violence, or personal abuse. The mark was often missed, but the aim was always high. His most striking personal characteristics were, perhaps, cool courage and absolute self-confidence, masked by a manner courteous to the verge of deference. His opinions were a curious compound of democratic idealism akin to Jefferson's, and a species of pacific imperialism. Against noble aims and a real love of lofty principle, against a life untainted by corruption or the grosser forms of self-seeking, must be set notable faults the faults of a bold temperament and of an acute man of action, most of whose life was passed in command or controversy. He was wilful, quarrelsome, jealous, and over-fond of finesse failings which had their full share in cutting short his official career, in isolating him during many years of his life, and in hindering him from receiving a full measure of reward for the solid services he rendered to the empire and its southern colonies.

Grey married, in 1839, Harriet, daughter of Admiral R. W. Spencer, K.H., at that time government resident at Albany, West Australia. The only child of the union, a son, died in infancy at Adelaide. The marriage was not happy; but Sir George and Lady Grey, after a separation lasting for many years, were reconciled some eighteen months before her death. She died only a fortnight before her husband.

A portrait of Grey, painted by Mr. Hubert Herkomer, R.A., is in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

[Rees's Life and Times of Sir George Grey, K.C.B., 1892; Review of Reviews (Australasian edit.), August and September 1892; Milne's Chats with the great Pro-Consul, 1899; Times, Daily News, Westminster Gazette, Otago Daily Times (New Zealand), 21 Sept. 1899; Review of Reviews, February 1896; Mennell's Dictionary of Australasian Biography, 1892; Gisborne's New Zealand Rulers and Statesmen, 1897, 2nd edit.; Reeves's Long White Cloud, 1898; Fox's War in New Zealand, 1866; Froude's Oceana, 1886; Rusden's History of New Zealand; Hewitt's History of Discovery in Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand, 1865; Mundy's Our Antipodes, 1852; Dutton's South Australia and its Mines, 1846; Chase's History of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, 1869.]

W. P. R.

GREY, Sir HENRY GEORGE, Viscount Howick, and afterwards third Earl Grey (1802–1894), statesman, eldest son and heir of Charles Grey, second Earl Grey [q. v.], was born on 28 Dec. 1802 at Howick in Northumberland. He was educated under a private tutor and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated M.A. in 1823. During his period of residence he took an active part in the debates of the Union Society, and was elected its treasurer in 1822. From 1807 until his succession to his father's earldom he was known as Viscount Howick.

At the general election in 1826 he was returned for Winchelsea in the whig interest on 9 June, and sat for this borough till 1830. He made his first speech in the House of Commons on the recommitment of the East Retford disfranchisement bill, and proposed a series of resolutions pledging the house to deal with parliamentary corruption. He also showed himself early in his parliamentary career to be a strong supporter of catholic emancipation, and in the reform bill debates proved an active advocate of reform. From the first he took up a somewhat independent position in party politics, and on 4 Feb. 1830 he saved Wellington's administration from defeat by speaking and voting against what he regarded as a purely factious amendment (Walpole, Hist. ii. 535). On 3 Aug. 1830 he was returned for Higham Ferrers, and was appointed under-secretary for the colonies in his father's administration. Influenced by Wakefield's schemes for colonisation [see {{sc|Wakefield, Edward Gibbon}], he introduced an emigration bill in 1831, and was one of the first to oppose the making of large grants of land in the colonies. His policy on this head took the form of alienation in moderate amounts to private persons and the establishment of a fund for promoting emigration out of the price realised.

On 9 May 1831 he was returned for Northumberland, and on 15 Dec. 1832, after the reform bill, for the north division of the county, which seat he held till 1841. In 1833 he resigned his office in consequence of the cabinet being unwilling to undertake immediate emancipation of the slaves in the West Indies. He spoke on 23 April 1833 against Stanley's proposals for a twelve years' apprenticeship (Hansard, xvii. 1231). He was generally supported by the abolitionists, and his attitude brought about the reduction of the period of apprenticeship from twelve to seven years. His exercise of independence was condoned, and he again held office in Lord Grey's administration as under-