Grey, Henry, Third Earl Grey


Grey, Henry, Third Earl Grey
(1802–1894)
   Colonial secretary under Lord John Russell, Grey oversaw the introduction of responsible government in the British settlement colonies. Grey became parliamentary undersecretary at the Colonial Office under the ministry of his father, Charles Grey, Second Earl Grey, in 1830. His ideas about colonial governance were influenced by the contemporary writings of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who urged the sale of colonial lands, with the proceeds used to subsidize emigration. In the 1830s, he argued for a conciliatory reaction to the Canadian rebellions, and also became interested in reforming the conditions of life for enlisted soldiers in the army. Becoming colonial secretary under Lord John Russell in 1846, Grey oversaw the introduction of responsible government in Canada and the effective grant of similar local self-government in the major Australian colonies. He also oversaw the introduction of limited forms of representative government in South Africa and New Zealand, two colonies beset by chronic native wars, for which neither Grey nor anyone else had an adequate solution. He left office when Russell’s ministry fell in 1852, and produced The Colonial Policy of Lord John Russell ’ s Administration, a defense of his conduct in office, which remains a useful source on early Victorian colonial policy.
   FURTHER READING:
    Grey, Earl. The Colonial Policy of Lord John Russell ’ s Administration. London: R. Bentley, 1853;
    Morrell, William Parker. British Colonial Policy in the Age of Peel and Russell. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1966.
   MARK F. PROUDMAN

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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