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The Romance of a Pro-consul

The full text of the Sir George Grey biography is available here. A word to the reader of the book by James Milne, London, March 1911: "When Sir George Grey died, twelve years ago, he left a message as well asa name to the English-speaking people. It was that their future rested in the Federal Idea of communion and government. He saw, vision-like, theform of this new age arise, because changed needs called it. As Pro-Consul he laboured for it unceasingly in our over-sea Commonwealths, andSouth Africa has most lately given answer. Now, at a historic turning in British Institutions, we hear of "Federal Home-Rule," and that may be asignpost to far travel along the road which Sir George Grey "blazed."Certainly it sends us to the spacious life and high thoughts of the"Father of Federation," whom Time in its just goodness will also callthe Walter Raleigh of the Victorians. Hence this people's edition of abook wherein, "he, being dead, yet speaketh.""

A guide to Sir George Grey's career as soldier, explorer, administrator, statesman, thinker, and dreamer.
  • 1812 Born at Lisbon April 14, during the Peninsular War.
  • 1829 Gazetted from Sandhurst to the 83rd Regiment Foot, and served to a captaincy.
  • 1837 Sailed from Plymouth June 20, on the ship 'Beagle,' as leader of a Government expedition to explore North-West Australia. Engaged in this work, and as Resident at King George's Sound, until 1840.
  • 1841 Named to the Governorship of South Australia, aged 29; held it until 1845, and during that period rescued the Colony from a state of chaos, getting it on the high road to prosperity.
  • 1845 Appointed Governor of New Zealand, when the first Maori War was raging. Established peace and authority, and continued in office until 1854. Refused to proclaim the constitution first designed by the British Government and Parliament for New Zealand, and was given power to draw up another.
  • 1854 First Governorship of Cape Colony, to 1859. Two dramatic events of it were the rising of the Kaffirs, at the call of a girl regarded as a Messiah; and the deflection to India, where the Mutiny had broken out, of the troops on their way to Lord Elgin in China.
  • 1859 Re-called from the Cape, because the Government at home disapproved of his action in endeavouring to federate South Africa. Reinstated, but with orders to drop his federation plans; and remained at Cape Town until 1861.
  • 1861 Second Governorship of New Zealand, to 1867. Second Maori War.
  • 1868 Active in English public life to 1890; and in Australasian affairs from 1870 to 1894.
  • 1877 Was Premier of New Zealand to 1879 so achieving the unique distinction of ruling, in that capacity, a country of which he had twice been Governor.
  • 1898 Died London, September 19. Buried in St. Paul's Cathedral, September 26.

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