- Henry Grey, 3rd Earl Grey
Henry George Grey, 3rd Earl Grey (
December 28, 1802– October 9, 1894), known as Viscount Howick from 1807 until 1845, was an English statesman.
He entered parliament in 1826, under the title of
ViscountHowick, as member for Winchelsea, which constituency he left in 1831 for Northumberland. On the accession of the Whigs to power in 1830, when his father became prime minister, he was made under-secretary for Britain's colonial possessions, and laid the foundation of his intimate acquaintance with colonial questions. He belonged at the time to the more advanced party of colonial reformers, sharing the views of Edward Gibbon Wakefieldon questions of land and emigration, and resigned in 1834 from dissatisfaction that slave emancipation was made gradual instead of immediate.
In 1835 he entered Lord Melbourne's cabinet as secretary at war, and effected some valuable administrative reforms, especially by suppressing malpractices detrimental to the troops in
India. After the partial reconstruction of the ministry in 1839 he again resigned, disapproving of the more advanced views of some of his colleagues.
These repeated resignations gave him a reputation for crotchetiness, which he did not decrease by his disposition to embarrass his old colleagues by his action on
free tradequestions in the session of 1841. During the exile of the Liberals from power he went still farther on the path of free trade, and anticipated Lord John Russell's declaration against the corn laws.
When, on Sir
Robert Peel's resignation in December 1845, Lord John Russell was called upon to form a ministry, Howick, who had become Earl Grey by the death of his father in the preceding July, refused to enter the new cabinet if Lord Palmerston were foreign secretary. He was greatly censured for perverseness, and particularly when in the following July he accepted Lord Palmerston as a colleague without remonstrance. His conduct, nevertheless, afforded Lord John Russell an escape from an embarrassing situation.
Becoming colonial secretary in 1846, he found himself everywhere confronted with arduous problems, which in the main he encountered with success. His administration formed an epoch. He was the first minister to proclaim that the colonies were to be governed for their own benefit and not for the mother countries; the first systematically to accord them self-government so far as then seemed possible; the first to introduce free trade into their relations with
Great Britainand Ireland. The concession by which colonies were allowed to tax imports from the mother-country ad libitum was not his; he protested against it, but was overruled. In the West Indieshe suppressed, if he could not overcome, discontent; in Ceylon he put down rebellion; in New Zealandhe suspended the constitution he had himself accorded, and yielded everything into the masterful hands of Sir George Grey.
The least successful part of his administration was his treatment of the convict question at the
Cape of Good Hope, which seemed an exception to his rule that the colonies were to be governed for their own benefit and in accordance with their own wishes, and subjected him to a humiliating defeat.
After his retirement he wrote a history and defence of his colonial policy in the form of letters to Lord John Russell, a dry but instructive book ("Colonial Policy of Lord John Russell's Administration", 1853).
He resigned with his colleagues in 1852. No room was found for him in the Coalition Cabinet of 1853, and although during the
Crimean strugglepublic opinion pointed to him as the fittest man as minister for war, he never again held office.
During the remainder of his long life he exercised a vigilant criticism on public affairs. In 1858 he wrote a work (republished in 1864) on parliamentary reform; in 1888 he wrote another on the state of Ireland; and in 1892 one on the
United Statestariff. In his latter years he was a frequent contributor of weighty letters to The Timeson land, tithes, currency and other public questions. His principal parliamentary appearances were when he moved for a committee on Irish affairs in 1866, and when in 1878 he passionately opposed the policy of the Beaconsfield cabinet in India. He nevertheless supported Lord Beaconsfield at the dissolution, regarding William Ewart Gladstone's accession to power with much greater alarm. He was a determined opponent of Gladstone's Home rulepolicy.
He died on the
October 9, 1894. None ever doubted his capacity or his conscientiousness, but he was generally deemed impracticable and disagreeable. Prince Albert, however, who expressed himself as ready to subscribe to all Grey's principles, and applauded him for having principles, told Stockmar that, although dogmatic, he was amenable to argument; and Sir Henry Taylor credits him with:more freedom from littlenesses of feeling than I have met before in any public man.
His chief defect was perceived and expressed by his original tutor and subsequent adversary in colonial affairs,
Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who wrote: :With more than a common talent for understanding principles, he has no originality of thought, which compels him to take all his ideas from somebody; and no power of working out theory in practice, which compels him to be always in somebody's hands as respects decision and action.
The earl had no sons, and he was followed as 4th earl by his nephew Albert Henry George (born 1851), who in 1904 became
Governor General of Canada.
The suburb of
Howick, New Zealandis named after the earl.
* [http://www.paulfrecker.com/pictureDetails.cfm?pagetype=library&typeID=21&ID=1471 image of the Earl Grey]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Henry Boyle, 3rd Earl of Shannon — (8 August, 1771 22 April, 1842) was among the last surviving Members of the Parliament of Ireland. He represented Cork County in the new Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1807. He then briefly served as Member of Parliament for Bandon … Wikipedia
Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton — (Wriothesley is pronounced Risly ) (October 6, 1573 ndash; November 10, 1624), one of William Shakespeare s patrons, was the second son of Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton, and his wife Mary Browne, Countess of Southampton, daughter of… … Wikipedia
Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon — (c. 1535 ndash; 14 December 1595) was the eldest son of Francis Hastings, 2nd Earl of Huntingdon and Catherine Pole. AncestryHis paternal grandparents were George Hastings, 1st Earl of Huntingdon and Anne Stafford, Countess of Huntingdon. His… … Wikipedia
Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland — Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland, (3 February, 1392/1393 ndash; 22 May, 1455) was the son of Henry Percy ( Harry Hotspur ) and his wife Elizabeth de Mortimer, daughter of Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March and Philippa Plantagenet.He was… … Wikipedia
Henry Grey — may refer to:* Henry Grey, 3rd Baron Grey de Wilton (1282–1342) * Henry Grey, 5th Baron Grey de Wilton (1342–1396) * Henry Grey, 3rd Baron Grey of Codnor (1406–1444) * Henry Grey, 2nd Earl of Tankerville (1419 1450) * Henry Grey, 4th Baron Grey… … Wikipedia
Henry Grey, 1st Earl of Stamford — (c. 1599 ndash; August 21, 1673), known as the Lord Grey of Groby from 1614 to 1628, was an English nobleman and military leader. He was the eldest son of Sir John Grey and Elizabeth Nevill. His mother was probably daughter of Edward Nevill, 8th… … Wikipedia
Henry Grey, 4th Earl of Kent — (c. 1495 24 September, 1562) was Earl of Kent from 1524 to his death.He was a son of George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent and his second wife Catherine Herbert. His maternal grandparents were William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke and Anne Devereux.His… … Wikipedia
Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Kent — (1671 ndash;5 June, 1740), was a British courtier and one of the Lords Justice appointed during the absence, in Germany, of George I.He was a son of Anthony Grey, 11th Earl of Kent and Mary Grey, 1st Baroness Lucas of Crudwell. He succeeded his… … Wikipedia
Henry Grey, 10th Earl of Kent — (24 November, 1594 – 1651) was Earl of Kent from 1643 to his death.He was the eldest son of Anthony Grey, 9th Earl of Kent and Magdalene Purefoy.He was married first to Mary Courteen, daughter of Sir William Courteen. They had a son:*Henry Grey.… … Wikipedia
Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk — Henry Grey, Marquess of Dorset (17 January 1517 ndash; 23 February 1554), was an English nobleman of the Tudor period and the father of Lady Jane Grey. Henry VIII s reign The son of Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset and of Margaret Wotton;… … Wikipedia