Biography of Grey, 4th earl (Canada) - Archontology
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Grey, 4th earl (Canada)

Albert Henry George Grey

b. 28 Nov 1851, London, England
d. 29 Aug 1917, Howick, Northumberland, England

Title: Governor General in and over the Dominion of Canada = Gouverneur Général dans et sur la Puissance du Canada
Term: 10 Dec 1904 - 16 Jun 1905
Chronology: 26 Sep 1904, appointed by Commission under the Royal Sign Manual and Signet
  10 Dec 1904, took oath of office, public ceremony, Red Chamber, Province House, Halifax, Nova Scotia [1]
Title: Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of the Dominion of Canada = Gouverneur général et Commandant en chef du Dominion du Canada
Term: 16 Jun 1905 - 13 Oct 1911
  16 Jun 1905, appointed Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief by Royal Commission
  13 Oct 1911, appointment superseded by the Commission of a successor effective on taking the prescribed oaths (13 Oct 1911)
Names/titles: 4th Earl Grey, 4th Viscount Howick, 4th Baron Grey of Howick, Co. Northumberland (UK), 5th Baronet [from 9 Oct 1894]

The grandson of the British prime minister, 2nd Earl Grey, Albert Henry George Grey was educated at Harrow and graduated from Trinity College, where he studied history and law. A Liberal, Grey served as a Member of Parliament from 1880-1886. He succeeded to the earldom in 1894 upon the death of his uncle, Henry, and became a member of the House of Lords. Grey travelled extensively throughout the British Empire, and briefly served as Administrator of Mashonaland in South Africa (2 May 1896 - 24 Jul 1897). He also gained commercial experience as the Director of the British South Africa Company from 1898 to 1904. A keen imperialist, Earl Grey saw his appointment (26 Sep 1904) as Governor General of Canada as an opportunity to forge stronger links of empire. On June 16, 1905, a second Commission was issued that appointed Lord Grey as "Governor General of Canada and Commander-in-Chief of the Dominion of Canada". This reflected the passing of the Militia Act in 1904, and resulted in changes to the Letters Patent Constituting the Office of the Governor General. In public speeches in Canada he tried to foster imperial pride and in private he urged Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier to respond favorably to proposals for closer defense ties. He devoted much of his time to Canadian-American relations, working closely with the British ambassador to the US and acting as mediator when Britain and the US seemed to misunderstand Canada's position. Despite vigorous effort, he was unable to achieve the entry of Newfoundland into the Canadian federation, though Alberta and Saskatchewan entered in 1905. Perhaps best remembered as the donor of the Grey Cup for football supremacy, Grey himself was more interested in the music and drama festivals he inaugurated. On leaving office in 1911, Earl Grey and returned to England, where he became president of the Royal Colonial Institute in London.

Biographical sources: The Canadian encyclopedia: year 2000 edition. McClelland & Stewart Inc., Toronto.

[1] The Globe, No. 17,109, 12 Dec 1904, pp. 1-2.
  Image: photograph by Alfred G. Pittaway, National Archives of Canada.