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


The gates were doubly barred against his return to office as a colonial Governor. In 1867, at the instance of Disraeli, always allured by the show of things, and this time imitating an innovation that had been made by the Spaniards in South America, a new principle was introduced into the selection of colonial Governors. It was required that the Governor of a self-governing colony "should be born in the purple,'' as the Byzantine emperors were born in the purple chamber. Grey plumed himself on his aristocratic connections. They were not recognised. His alleged descent from Huguenot nobles and his visit to the abodes of his mother's ancestors in Normandy did not avail him. He had not been "born in the purple.'' His pride was cut to the quick, and his democratic partialities were heightened almost to madness—"that worst madness which wears a reasoning show."