The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Barkly, Sir Henry

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Barkly, Sir Henry, K.C.B., G.C.M.G., sometime Governor of Victoria, is of Scottish extraction, being the only son of the late Æneas Barkly, of Monteagle, Ross-shire, an eminent West India merchant in London, where his son was born in 1815. He was educated at Bruce Castle School, Tottenham, and went into business. From April 1845 to Feb. 1849 he was M.P. for Leominster, as a supporter of Sir Robert Peel. In Dec. 1848 he was appointed Governor and commander-in-chief of British Guiana (where he owned estates), and where as Governor he advocated the introduction of coolies and Chinese as labourers. He was Governor of Jamaica from 1853 to 1856, being created K.C.B. in the former year. In Dec. 1856 he was appointed Governor of Victoria in succession to Sir Charles Hotham, and held that position till Sept. 1863. During his government of Victoria constitutional questions of some delicacy cropped up in connection with the initiatory stages of responsible government in that colony, but on the whole his régime was popular and respected. His first wife, who was the daughter of J. F. Timins, of Hatfield House, died in 1857, a few months after his arrival in Victoria, where in 1860 he married the only daughter of Sir Thomas Simson Pratt, K.C.B. In 1863 he was appointed Governor of Mauritius, and was Governor and High Commissioner at the Cape from 1870 to 1876. Meanwhile he was created G.C.M.G. in 1874. Sir Henry Barkly is in the enjoyment of a pension, and resides in London.