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GREY, Sir George

Born: 1812 04 14
Died: 1898 09 20

Governor


He was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and was appointed High Commissioner and Governor of the Cape Colony in 1854. There are institutions bearing his name in several towns and cities in the country including Bloemfontein (Grey College) and Port Elizabeth (Grey High School). A number of places in South Africa bear his name (such as Greytown, Greyton and Greyville); Georgetown, Edendale is named after him.

Grey is associated with the following structures and works executed during his tenure as High Commissioner at the Cape (1854-59)

Grey is allegedly responsible for the design of the original Grey's Hospital in Pietermaritzburg. The hospital was envisaged to serve the whole community in and around Pietermaritzburg. His design of Grey's Hospital in Pietermaritzburg was executed (1855-1862) by Dr SUTHERLAND, the newly appointed Surveyor-General of Natal.

A 72-km stretch of railway from Cape Town to Wellington was begun in 1859.

In the Eastern Cape, road works and harbour improvements at the Cowie and Buffalo Rivers were undertaken.

Grey was also keenly interested in education. He fostered the growth of the South African College at Cape Town by increased Government assistance and by strengthening its governing body and reorganising its teaching departments.

He encouraged Bishop Gray's efforts to form a ‘Native College’, even contributing from his own private resources. He encouraged education even beyond the frontiers of the Cape, as in the Orange Free State, where Grey College was founded with funds he donated.

In Natal he aided Bishop Colenso in the latter's efforts to found an Industrial School for 'Natives' (1855).

Grey gave grants to Anglican and Wesleyan mission stations for the establishment of schools for the Xhosa. In this way the Healdtown Institution and Lovedale were founded.

The first ‘Bantu’ hospital, the Grey Hospital, was built at King William's Town and opened in 1859.

To encourage industry and labour among the local tribes, Grey commenced a public works programme of improved communications in 1855, which was also designed to strengthen frontier security. Roads were constructed from King William's Town to Izeli, Kabousie Post and Queenstown. A southern road was begun towards the Buffalo River mouth and westwards via Tamacha and Breakfast Vlei to Grahamstown. Excavations were begun for a harbour at East London.

Books citing GREY

Kearney, Brian. 1973. Architecture in Natal from 1824 1893. Cape Town: Balkema. pp 24-25

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1977. Victorian Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pp 28, 41, 193, 255, 369

Potgieter, DJ (Editor-in-chief). 1972. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 5 For-Hun. Cape Town: Nasou. pp 344-347

Raper, PE. 1989. Dictionary of Southern African place names. Johannesburg: Lowry. pp

Schoeman, Karel. 1980. Bloemfontein: die ontstaan van n stad. Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau. pp 25, 27, 38

Chapters in books citing GREY

Musiker, R & N. GREY, Sir George: in 1972. Standard Encyclopaedia of South Africa [SESA] Volume 5 For-Hun: pp 344