Colonial Policy of Lord John Russell’s Administration 1853



Written by Earl Grey and published in 1853 in two volumes. Earl Grey became the colonial secretary in 1846, during the time of Lord John Russell as Prime Minister, and his administration formed an epoch, being the first minister to proclaim that the colonies were to be governed for their own benefit and not for the mother country. Countries mentioned: Sugar Colonies, Mauritius, St Lucia, Trinidad, Guinea, Jamaica, Barbadoes, Canada, Newfoundland, Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, Natal, Hong Kong, Labuan, and the Falkland Islands. A large part of the volumes are devoted to Australia, transportation of convicts and development of the settlements.

New Zealand is down as one of the colonies disturbed by war and has many details of the Maori Wars. He states “With respect to New Zealand, you cannot fail to recollect that the accounts received from the Colony were so unsatisfactory and alarming during the years 1844 and 1845, that after having been the subject of a parliamentary inquiry, Lord Derby, Secretary of State thought it necessary to recall the former Governor, now Sir George Grey, to proceed with the least possible delay to New Zealand and take upon himself the administrations of its affairs. When the Governor reached the Colony in November 1845, he found the British Troops and settlers engaged in hostilities (of which they had greatly the worst) with the natives in the Northern parts of the islands”. 

“The Maori, both in weapons and knowledge of the art of war, a skill in planning and perseverance in carrying out a lengthened campaign, being infinitely superior to the American Indians. In fact, there can be no doubt that they are, for warfare in this country, even better equipped than our own troops”.It goes on to tell in more detail the events of the battles between the Europeans and Maori. The Wanganui Massacre, etc…


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