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Life of Sir George Grey: Governor, High commissioner, and Premier. An Historical Biography.

At the Colonial Office

At the Colonial Office.

It was the fate of Grey that, even when he was at the height of success, he was dogged by the shadow, if not of failure, yet of misdoing; the croaking voice of censure jarred upon the ear just saluted with the shouts of triumph. He had hardly set foot in London when he was chilled by the cold air of official disapproval that blew through the icy corridors of the Colonial Office. The Colonial Office, in fact, turned its back on him. His official friend, Lord Lincoln, now Duke of Newcastle and Secretary for the Colonies, positively refused to see him; and the Permanent Under-Secretary treated him sternly. What had he done? He had been guilty of the worst of all faults in the eyes of a State department—he had disobeyed its behests. The Duke had already, in December, 1853, replied to the despatch of May, 1852, where Grey explained the course he had taken in respect of the land fund. In a despatch that crossed his homeward journey he was told that his disobedience was unpardonable. All the considerations he urged were already known to his superiors. He was imperatively ordered to transmit the money without delay. This single statement seems to prove that he had never received leave of absence. The Colonial Office was unaware that he was on his way to England.