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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Sir George Grey

page 31
Sir George Grey has been more closely connected and identified with this Colony than any other governor; indeed, he may safely be called the most prominent figure in New Zealand's history. His career as governor began on the 18th of November, 1845, and continued till the 31st of December, 1853, re-opening on the 3rd of October, 1861, and closing finally on the 5th of February, 1868, even the shorter of these terms being longer than that of any other governor. Sir George was born at Lisbon on the 14th of April, 1812. He was the son of Colonel Grey, who fell at Badajos, three days before his son was born. The loss of his father in battle, however, did not deter the boy from taking to a soldier's life. As soon as he was old enough, he went to Sandhurst Military College, and here he was so successful that he gained a lieutenancy in the 83rd Regiment of Foot when but little beyond his majority. At the age of eighteen he was gazeited ensign, and from that time until he left for Australia he was quartered in Glasgow and Dublin, in both of which cities he saw so much poverty and consequent suffering that he determined to in some way devote his life to the improvement of the conditions under which the wretched poor were doomed to live. In 1887 he was appointed by His Majesty's Government to explore the north west of Australia, Lord Glenelg's despatch stating that Lieutenant Grey was in charge of the party. Before he had left England, however, and when his commission had been signed nine days, William IV., whom he had served throughout that monarch's short reign, died. The King he had served at Home; but he was destined to serve his Queen abroad. His real public life, therefore, may be said to have been contemporaneous with that of his Sovereign. After a by no means eventful voyage to the Cape of Good Hope in H.M.S. “Beagle,” a schooner named the “Lynher,” 140 tons, was fitted out and loaded with livestock, plants, vegetables, fruits, etc., and the work of exploring was entered upon in earnest, The “Lynher” left the Cape on the 12th of October with a party of twelve, exclusive of the ship's company. They landed at Hanover Bay on the 3rd of December, and some idea of the heat and exhaustion which they had to endure may be inferred from the fate of three of the dogs, who died during the first day. Here the chief of the party very nearly lost his life, as the following extract from the “Life and Times of Sir George Grey” will show:—“After staggering over rocks that seemed like ruined mountains for a whole day and a great part of the night, the men came to a halt on the sea beach. Grey and Corporal Coles followed the coast for some distance further but were stopped by an arm of the sea about 500 yards wide. It was necessary for the sake of the party that this should be crossed, as the ship was to meet them further down the coast. The tide was ebbing out to sea with tremendous swiftness. At this place, the difference between high and low tide is thirty-eight feet, and many portions of comparatively high land are completely submerged at high tide. Coles was unfit to attempt the swimming of the stream. The presence of hostile tribes on the opposite shore made it an extremely dangerous undertaking. But the lives of all the party were in peril, and Grey plunged into the current, at first holding his pistol above the water with one hand, but was soon obliged to use both hands in making his way against the rushing water, which would have carried him out to sea. He reached the other side exhausted, naked, and wounded from clambering over the sharp rocks. He heard the shouts of the savages as they answered each other from every side. Taking refuge from the natives in a cave, he was overcome with exhaustion and fell asleep. Finally, he was awakened and taken off towards morning by a boat's crew who were searching for him.” To recount all the narrow escapes of the explorer and his party would need the space of a volume. A month or so after the occurrences above related Lieutenant Grey and two of his party were attacked by a tribe of natives, the account of which is both interesting and amusing. On the first occurrence the discharge of a gun into the air was sufficient, but in a few weeks a second encounter was forced upon them when only three Englishmen—Lieutenant Grey, Corporal Coles and another were surprised by a large party. Desiring to avoid the shedding of blood Grey again fired over their heads, but his humanity was repaid by a shower of spears, three of them striking him, and one lodging in his hip. For a moment he fell prostrate, but rising as if by a superhuman effort he took a rifle from his corporal and shot the leader of the tribe, whose fall was the signal for a general panic among the blacks, and the complete victory of the explorers. But the leader was badly wounded, and on the way back to camp strained his wounded hip so severely that he fell, and was unable to rise and continue. Coles went on to the encampment, and within an hour the party returned with tents and stores. Short as that time was the wounded explorer believed he would be dead before the return of his friends, so great was his loss of blood. He was in momentary expectation of being attacked and was obliged to sit up, supported by a small tree, his finger on the trigger of his gun, his eyes and ears ever on the alert, that he might defend the life which he believed was ebbing away with his blood. The whole party becoming more or less exhausted, and the stores running out, Lieutenant Grey decided to return to Perth. Of this first exploration his biographers say:— “The earliest information of the existence of mountains such as the Stephen Range and Mount Lyell, of rivers such as the Glenelg, of fertile districts and stony deserts in North Western Australia, was given to the world by Lieutenant Grey. The facts he observed and published in connection with the nature of the soil; the character of the rivers, the peculiarities of the climate; the various forms of animal and vegetable life; the language, customs and achievements of the natives—all these were of vivid interest at the time, and of enduring value as reliable contributions to the sum of human knowledge.” page 32 Before starting on a second expedition Lieutenant Grey “spent a few months at Mauritius recovering from his wounds and studying the resources of the country… . He returned to Swan River on the 10th of September, 1838, but owing to many unforeseen difficulties he was compelled to give up the idea of an expedition at that time. After one or two short expeditions in the neighbourhood of Perth, Grey decided on a new plan, namely, to follow the coast, both north and south of Shark Bay, in whaleboats, landing at different points and making short trips into the interior.” Here again the very greatest difficulties, hardships and trials beset them. Landing on Bernier Island on the 25th of February, 1839, they had varied but always dreadful experiences until the end of the following month when both their boats were rendered useless, and the party had to walk the rest of the way to Perth, about 300 miles. The nature of the country was such that twenty days were fully and fearfully occupied in that eventful journey. Exhaustion from heat, hunger, and thirst, a brush with the natives, blistered and bleeding feet, enfeebled frames and a general struggle against death were the leading features of that terrible time; but throughout it all the leader was in every way the
Sir George Grey In 1877.

Sir George Grey In 1877.

hero of the party. One of the number died from exhaustion, and had it not been for the gallant effort of Lieutenant Grey the whole party would have shared his fate. On their arrival at Perth, the Governor was at first unable to recognise his friend Grey, so great were the changes wrought upon his physique. The results of this expedition may be summed up in the word “disaster,” though doubtless some addition was made to the limited stock of knowledge then possessed by the world regarding Western Australia. While recruiting after its close Lieutenant Grey received his commission of captain, the title by which he was henceforth known until 1848. By appointment of the Governor of Western Australia, dated 31st of August, 1839, Captain Grey became Resident at King George's Sound; and here he interested himself in the civilization of the natives, with most encouraging results; but after a few months he was informed that the Home Government were desirous of abandoning for the time the exploration of North Western Australia, and he returned to England, arriving there in September, 1840. On the 20th of the following month he received a letter from the Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord John Russell, intimating that the high opinion entertained of his ability and energy induced him to propose his appointment to the governorship of South Australia. A brief account of the circumstances which led up to this appointment may prove of interest here, and will show the confidence the Home Office reposed in the embryo statesman:—“In 1829, Mr. Edward Gibbon Wakefield published in London a pamphlet purporting to be a letter written from Sydney, and describing the annoyances to be endured by a man of taste and fortune who should emigrate to Australia. The burden of Mr. Wakefield's complaint was that the low price of land made it so easy for the labourers to become landed proprietors, that servants could not be kept, and the wealthy had to face the hardship of doing their own work. As a remedy for this unpleasant state of things, he suggested that another colony should be founded, and that with the object of reserving to the wealthy the advantages of class distinctions, a high price should be charged for the land, and that the money so raised should be expended in bringing out young men and women as farm labourers and servants. It was stated that a man with money might have all the comforts of English life, and at the same time make a splendid interest on his capital by employing others to do the hard work. This seemed very feasible, and it is said by the Sutherlands in their “History of Australia” that “famous authors, distinguished soldiers, learned bishops were deceived by it; noblemen, members of parliament, bankers and merchants, all combined to applaud this novel and excellent idea.” In 1831 a company was formed and application was made to the British Government for a charter, which, if granted “would have conceded the complete sovereignty of the whole southern region of Australia.” As might have been expected this was declined; but “two years later the South Australian Association was formed and as this company asked for nothing beyond the power to sell waste lands and apply the proceeds to assist immigration, the Government gave its consent.” Twelve shillings an acre was to be charged for the land at first, but the price was to be quickly raised to twenty shillings. In the winter of 1836, the pioneers of Adelaide landed, and by the end of that year, the first Governor, Captain Hindmarsh arrived. He at once quarrelled with Mr. Fisher, the resident commissioner, over the selection of the site, and, as the two officers could come to no agreement, the British Government, after a delay of some fourteen months, settled the dispute by dismissing Mr. Fisher, recalling Governor Hindmarsh, and conferring supreme power on his successor to the governorship, Colonel Gawler. This gentleman's troubles began immediately on his arrival—early in 1838. The Wakefield system was found to “pan out” miserably below expectation. The “kid-glove” pioneers were thoroughly disappointed, and those who did not return at once, removed to the so-called city, “where a few painted boards here and there, fastened to the trunks of gum trees, were the only indications of streets.” When the poorer emigrants arrived, there was no one in the mood to employ them, and with flour at £80 per ton, their condition may be imagined. “In order to give employment,” says the same authority “to those of the settlers who were really destitute, Governor Gawler commenced a series of Government Works. He constructed a good road between Adelaide and its port. He formed wharves and reclaimed the unwholesome swamp; he built a Custom House with warehouses and many other costly buildings, Government House alone costing £20,000. These were all very desirable things, but it was difficult to see how they were to be paid for. Colonel Gawler spent nearly the whole of his private fortune in paying the wages of the unfortunate people he employed, but that could not long support so great a concourse. He persuaded merchants in England to send out provisions and clothing for the famished people; but the only means he had of paying for page 33 these goods was by drafts on the British Treasury, which were at first accepted as equivalent to money, and paid by the British Government. But when the authorities found that orders for larger and larger amounts continued to pour in, they refused to pay, and reminded the colony that, by the terms of its charter, it was to be entirely self-supporting.” When this happened, Governor Gawler found that he had involved the colony in a debt of £400,000, beyond its power to pay; and it was consequently declared insolvent. Eventually the Home Government lent the colony a sum sufficient to pay its debts; but Governor Gawler was promptly recalled. It was at this crisis that Captain Grey was asked to take command: and the unpleasant duty was imposed upon him of walking into the Government House at Adelaide, presenting his commission to the surprised Governor Gawler, and at once taking control of affairs into his own hands. This action, instigated by the Home Government, and carried into effect by Governor Grey was naturally resented by those who had “experienced Governor Gawler's kindness and generosity in their time of trouble;” but the new governor, who was under thirty years of age, conducted the affairs of the infant and troubled colony with a discretion creditable to riper years added to the enterprise of youth. The public expenditure in the year preceding his arrival was upwards of £170,000, while the revenue was about £30,000; and the question for the young governor to solve was,—“How can this expenditure be brought within reasonable limits without inflicting very great hardships upon those who have been hitherto sustained by it?” By helping the poorer labourers into employment with the farmers and squatters who were by this time opening up the country, and by settling others on small farms of their own, Captain Grey was enabled without hardship to anyone to reduce the Government expenditure during the first year to £90,000, in the second year to £68,000, and in the third year of his administration to the very reasonable sum of £34,000. All this time the country was being made productive; and when Captain Grey had spent four years in South Australia, the colony had, by “good luck and good guidance” emerged from its troubles into a most satisfactory condition. Of course, it was just within the bounds of possibility that had Governor Gawler been allowed to remain he would have been able to do much as Governor Grey did; but, of that none can tell, and certainly the governor in whose time these beneficial changes were made deserves all credit for the part he played in them. While matters in South Australia were progressing so favourably under the control of Governor Grey, Governors Hobson, Shortland and Fitzroy of New Zealand, were successively surrounded by the greatest difficulties. Governor Hobson—a high-minded, upright gentleman—after two-and-a-half years of harassing work, was asked by the people of Auckland to send Home their petition for his removal; but in the following month the hand of Death removed him with less formality and more solemnity than would otherwise have been possible. Acting-Governor Shortland was loved less perhaps than his predecessor; but he was tolerated, as it was understood that his reign would be short. Governor Fitzroy, rightly or wrongly, was blamed not only for all the troubles experienced by the white population which was spread throughout the Colony, but more particularly for the outbreak of Hone Heke's war, the first real collision which occurred with the natives. This was begun by the sacking of the town of Russell on the 11th of January, 1845, and was conducted in a manner which reflected little credit on the discretion and general management of Governor Fitzroy. The Home Government in this instance acted with a comparative promptness that was commendable, for by the 14th of November of the same year, Captain Grey arrived in Auckland to relieve Captain Fitzroy of a position for which his qualifications were deemed insufficient. That the British Government should look to Governor Grey as a deliverer for New Zealand was quite natural. Before his appointment to the governorship of South Australia, Captain Grey had written a letter on the methods of dealing with native races, which had met such favour at the hands of the Secretary of State that a copy of it was forwarded by that minister to Captain Hobson for his guidance in this Colony. His apparent incapacity to quell the Maori disturbance was not Captain Fitzroy's only failing. Like Governor Gawler in South Australia, he began to float paper money, but in a different way. Instead of drawing on the Home Treasury as his predecessors had done to a limited extent—the limiting being mainly done in England— Captain Fitzroy issued debentures of £1, £5, £10 and £50, bearing interest at 5 per cent. With these he paid such debts of the Government as he was unable to discharge with cash. The creation of a new currency was considered an unwarrantable breach of the royal instructions; and further fault was found with him for having attempted to pacify the Maoris by waiving the Crown's pre-emptive rights to purchase their lands. For these errors of judgment committed under pressure of difficulties — Governor Fitzroy was recalled and Britain's hopes for the prosperity of New Zealand were confidently centred in Captain Grey, whose success in South Australia was considered phenomenal. Governor Fitzroy keenly felt the severity of the blow. It was a crisis in his career. Under most serious difficulties—hampered on all sides—he had been the central figure on whom had fallen the censure of the authorities at Home and the loud and bitter complaints of the colonists. His inability to end Heke's war he attributed to the limited forces at his command; and, just as reinforcements had arrived, and he really believed he was about to strike a decisive blow, he received notice of his recall, and that Captain Grey would immediately succeed him. This was the second time that Governor Grey had had to say, in effect, to a colonial governor,—“Stand aside; you are adjudged incompetent. Allow me to set your house in order.” Sir George was then thirty-three years of age, a very young man to have won such golden opinions. That he executed his errand with becoming modesty, may be inferred from the fact that Captain Fitzroy, though greatly depressed at not being allowed a chance to retrieve his losses, received his successor most courteously and generously afforded him all the assistance and information in his power. Of course, the new governor began by undoing as far as possible the acts for which his predecessor had been censured. He at once ended the manufacture of debentures, restored the pre-emptive right of the Crown to purchase the Maori lands, and infused into the war with Heke all the vigour of his ardent military nature. As far as circumstances would permit he took an active part in the fight; and within two months of his arrival Heke and the brave old Kawiti sued successfully for peace. Though there were no open hostilities between the Maoris and the European population in any other part of the Colony, a good deal of offensiveness had been shown by the chiefs Te Rauparaha and Rangihaeata, who two or three years before had been concerned in the unfortunate quarrel which resulted in the Wairau Massacre. Opinions will probably always divide as to whether Governor Fitzroy and his predecessor had acted with too much leniency towards the recalcitrant chiefs. At any rate, Captain Grey was not disposed to follow that lead. In July, 1846, he landed before daylight at Te Rauparaha's settlement with 130 men, and carried the old chief a prisoner on board his ship. Thus for the time he settled the Maori difficulties throughout the island, adding, of course, to his reputation as a soldier, and particularly as an administrator in connection with native disturbances. His success had a good effect upon both races. Matters progressed favourably and the Governor was exceedingly popular. In 1848, the title of “K.C.B” was conferred upon him in page 34 recognition of his most valuable services. The friendly natives during that year erected the fine stone wall enclosing the “Albert Barracks” at Auckland, where “Albert Park” now adorns the city. It was during Sir George Grey's first term in New Zealand that the Imperial Parliament passed the New Zealand Constitution Act; but though it was practically his own creation, he was not allowed to remain long enough to see the first parliament elected in 1854. At the end of the year 1853, Cape Colony was in need of a firm administrator, and one well schooled in the management of native races. Quite naturally, therefore, the British Government looked to Sir George Grey who had already rendered such signal services. Whether New Zealand could afford to lose his able administration was doubtful at the time, and whether the Colony really did suffer
Photo by Wrigglesworth and Binns. Sir George Grey In 1892.

Photo by Wrigglesworth and Binns.
Sir George Grey In 1892.

from his withdrawal will always be a matter of opinion; but that he was the right man in the right place in South Africa seems beyond all reasonable doubt. His title was Governor of Cape Colony and High Commissioner of South Africa; but his duties and opportunities of service were so wide spread and demanded such immediate action that he was necessarily more of an autocrat than a commissioner. In the history of British Colonies and their governors probably no other instance is given of such independent action as was forced upon Sir George Grey during his governorship of Cape Colony. For details of his wonderful successes, readers are referred to current history, a good deal of which is summed up in the biography of Sir George already referred to. In the limited space which can be allowed in the present work it is impossible to do much more than relate the barest facts. When Sir George reached the Cape in 1854, he found things generally, civil and military, in a condition which it were almost flattery to call a mere muddle. With all but superhuman skill and energy he effected in the course of three years such changes that a detailed account of them reads like a fairy tale. With a daring that suggests his firm confidence in the possession of a charmed life, he personally interviewed the principal Kaffir chiefs, at the very time in a state of rebellion. He was actually in the Kaffir country when 200,000 of those rebels had, in obedience to the prophecy of a girl, burnt all their crops and destroyed their cattle, thus shutting themselves up to starvation, or the only alternative of making a successful raid upon the food supplies of the British colonists. While yet in the country of the enemy, a message reached the Governor from General Michel to the effect that in his opinion the line of frontier assumed was too extended, and that he had prepared for a retreat in preference to making any attempt to hold the outer boundary. Sir George was so strongly opposed to showing any admission of weakness that he told the general that unless he would carry out the instructions given by himself as High Commissioner, he must make way for a more obedient officer. This as may be supposed had the desired effect. The author of “Sir Gilbert Leigh,” in an appendix says of Sir George Grey that” at this juncture, unable to convince the Kaffirs of the suicidal nature of the course they were pursuing, he returned, but in doing so struck an efficacious blow. By a clever combination of secret movements skilfully executed, and with great daring, he captured all the principal chiefs, and thus broke the neck of the confederacy, for the Kaffirs had no one to lead them, and, having destroyed their crops and cattle, began to starve. Pale Death reigned there in dreadful silence, 50,000 Kaffirs dying of starvation, so that their villages became vast charnel houses, and stank with unburied corpses. Then the wisdom and humanity of Sir George came into full play, for, as governor, he despatched relief parties far and wide, rescuing the remnants from destruction. Thirty-four thousand of them he brought to the Cape, and distributed them amongst the colonists as servants for a specified time. The remainder, he built villages for, and providing food, implements, seed, etc., settled them in British Kaffraria.” In performing such human offices as these he won the hearts of the savages and tamed them. In every way which suggested itself to his prodigious intellect Sir George administered to the well-being and welfare of the mixed population over whom he presided. But his bold determination to do right, whether in obedience to instructions from the Home authorities or in direct contravention thereof, brought upon him repeated censure for conduct which in itself—apart from the disobedience —his very censors were compelled to applaud. The timely help rendered to Lord Elphinstone in India is a fair sample, among many others, of the autocratic but thoroughly successful acts of the “King of the Cape.” At length in the opinion of the authorities there came a time when his strong rule might be withdrawn from the Cape in favour of New Zealand, which during his absence had not been in the most satisfactory condition. Accordingly Sir George was sent back to this Colony, instead of being rewarded with the Governorship of Canada, in fulfilment of promises. But when he returned to New Zealand in 1861, he found the conditions much changed. The Colony had during his absence come under the rule of responsible government. His quick, masterly mind had to “go slow” to suit the “tune and time” of representative machinery. This was hampering in a country disturbed by rebellious natives. Then again, he was not High Commissioner in New Zealand, which was, no doubt, the result of a civil blunder, and the cause of many military mistakes. General Cameron who had charge of the military operations acknowledged no colonial authority, and was slow to accept the wise suggestions of page 35 the Governor whose superior knowledge of uncivilized warfare was beyond question. It is a matter of history how “at Wereroa, after General Cameron had declined to attack the pa on the ground that it could not be taken, and communications kept open, with less than 2000 soldiers, and then at a great sacrifice of life, Sir George assembled 309 friendly natives, 139 Forest Rangers, and twenty-five of the Wanganui Cavalry; and, while 200 Imperial troops looked on as spectators, he personally, at the risk of his life, directed the operations against the pa, which he eventually succeeded in taking, capturing fifty natives who were hurrying to the relief.” Instances of personal bravery abound in Sir George's biography—a book which should be read and treasured by all; but only one more may be quoted here:—“Sir George had forbidden all tribal wars… . Word was brought to him in Auckland that two tribes to the northward had commenced hostilities… . Instantly embarking in a man-of-war he proceeded to Whangarei, landing there in the early dawn… . During several hours he rode hard, accompanied by a half-caste guide. Upon his arrival at the pa he found the battle already begun. The cracking of rifle shots told that the fight was fast and furious. Putting spurs to his horse he dashed into the line of fire and threw up his right hand, shouting for both parties to cease firing. As he rode by, the brother of the attacking chief fell, shot through the neck. The person of the Governor was at once recognised. In a moment all was silent. Sir George Grey, still sitting on his panting horse, commanded both parties to come out and range themselves on either side of him without their arms. His word was law. In a few minutes several hundreds of fighting men stood drawn up in two bodies, only separated by the Governor and his orderly. He bade both sides depart at once for their ordinary homes, and he would himself decide their disputes… . To the Maoris the voice of Te Kuwana (the Governor) was as the voice of God. To hear was to obey.” Though Sir George Grey's second rule in New Zealand was less brilliant than his first, he was extremely popular, and achieved much good. When at last he was withdrawn in 1868, the people of both races felt that they were losing a friend, and in many and various ways they exhibited their sorrow. It was the fourth time he had been called upon to part from those whom he loved and had wisely ruled, and without exception each was a hard parting for both sides. The petitions from the Maoris to the Queen for Sir George Grey's continuance or return, like those of the poor Kaffirs were numerous and pathetic; and it must have been very gratifying to Her Majesty to receive such unmistakeable evidence of the popularity of her representative. Indeed Sir George had the satisfaction of knowing that such was the case both from the lips and pen of his Monarch. There were abundant grounds for believing that Her Majesty had no share in the dislike exhibited by some of her badly-informed ministers towards one who was much too clever and great to suit their poor ideas of what a colonial governor of a disturbed colony should be. On his return to England in 1868 Sir George became interested in Home politics, and in March, 1870, he announced himself as a liberal though independent candidate for the Newark seat in the House of Commons. It was a bye-election; but Mr. Gladstone was not at that time in need of an independent member and intimated to Sir George that his weight would be thrown into the scale of an opponent, Sir Henry Storks. As there was a third candidate—a conservative—Sir George and his liberal opponent both withdrew by arrangement, and another liberal was put up and returned. Soon after this Sir George left England and on arrival at Auckland repaired to his island home at Kawau. Thousands have visited him there from Auckland, and all have been courteously received. For three years he lived there in quiet retirement, and his best friends must ever regret that he was urged to re-enter public life in any form. The death, however, of the superintendent of the province, Mr. John Williamson, not long before the abolition of the provinces was to take place, provided the opportunity; and to save the trouble and expense of an election, Sir George was invited to stand, it being rightly judged that none would dare to oppose him. This condescension led to a further, and Sir George was returned to Parliament. Of course, he soon became Premier, but his politics were too far advanced for his day, and after a two-years' term of office, he was relegated to the cold shades of opposition. This was in 1879, and from that time his following gradually decreased until 1890, when owing to illness he retired. In 1893 he was again elected; but as he returned to England before the session of 1894, he never sat in the new parliament; and during the session of 1895 he cabled his resignation. Colonials generally were delighted with the tidings that Her Majesty had been pleased to add the name of Sir George Grey to the list of her Privy Councillors—an honour certainly well merited. At the time of writing it is expected that Sir George, in his eighty-fourth year, will again return to this Colony. Should he be deterred from carrying out this intention by infirmity, it will be a matter of sincere regret throughout the Colony, but more particularly in Auckland where the popularity of Sir George Grey can never wane. Nor should it, for Sir George has ever been Auckland's best friend. His magnificent gift of some twelve thousand rare and in some cases priceless volumes must ever remain in the minds of Aucklanders, calling for their life-long gratitude. Many of the volumes and letters would be valued most highly, even in the British Museum; and, in fact, Sir George was importuned on that very point, but he preferred to bestow his wonderful collection on the people of New Zealand, through those of his favourite city. This gift was made in 1887. A quarter-of-a-century earlier he similarly favoured the Cape Colony, the gift to the library there being considered in many respects even superior. It is stated that some of the Auckland rarities would be eagerly purchased in the Old World if offered at £500 per volume. These works, in a multitude of cases, represent presents to Sir George in acknowledgment of favours received in the shape of contributions to science. It would be unfair to close this sketch without reference to Sir George Grey's high scholarly attainments. Considering the wonderful activity in administration demanded from him throughout his early and middle life; it is amazing that he was able to accomplish so much in the way of close, persevering study. In recognition of this the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge bestowed upon him their highest honours. These ceremonies as described by his biographers are most interesting. The causes of freedom and education have ever been dear to Sir George's heart. See “Life and Times of Sir George Grey, by William Lee Rees and Lily Rees” for a fund of valuable and interesting information regarding unquestionably the greatest man who has in and way shaped the destinies of this Colony.