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Past and Present, and Men of the Times.

[Sir George Grey]

page 234
Sir George Grey, K.C.B.

Sir George Grey, K.C.B.

page 235

Sir George Grey was born in Lisbon, Portugal. His father was Colonel Grey, and was killed at Badajoz. His father was an Irishman, and his mother a French lady. I met him first when he was Captain Grey, in 1837, when he was surveying Swan River. I then met him in 1841, in South Australia, when he was administering the Government after Colonel Gawler left. I next saw him in Auckland in 1865, and when he came to Otago, visiting the South of New Zealand in 1867, I was Mayor of Cromwell and entertained him. It was on this visit to the interior of Otago that he received a dispatch from the Duke of Buckingham relieving him of his position as Governor. He got the dispatch at Queenstown, whither he had gone with the late Sir John Richardson and the late Hon. Robert Campbell, and others. I saw Sir George on his return from Queenstown, and he did not seem pleased with the treatment he had received from the Home Government. He went Home, and was succeeded by Sir George Bowen as Governor. At Home he stood for Newark, but had no chance of election, as neither party supported him. When at Home he wrote a pamphlet in favour of Home Rale for Ireland. He returned to the Colony, as he could not stand the winters, and settled down in Kawau. Being invited to enter politics, on the retirement of the late Judge Gillies from the Superintendency of the Auckland Province, he was elected Superintendent, and a member of the House in 1875. He became Premier in 1877, and was in office till the end of 1879. He remained in the House till 1895, resigning on the 28th June, having taken up his residence in England. He was married to Miss Stanley, but on a trip to England many years ago from the Cape they quarrelled, and have lived apart for nearly forty years. Word has come of their reconcilment. They had one child, who died, and is buried in the cemetery at Adelaide. I was sent home to England, as a lecturer, by Sir George Grey in 1878, and did well for the Colony in introducing the best class of farmers. Sir George is a Privy Councillor. He is now eighty-four years of age, and it is not likely that we will see him again.