Henry Bartle Frere

British colonial Welsh administrator (1815-1884)

Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, 1st Baronet, (29 March 1815 – 29 May 1884) was a British colonial administrator. He had a successful career in India, rising to become Governor of Bombay (1862–1867). However, as High Commissioner for Southern Africa (1877–1880), he implemented a set of policies which attempted to impose a British confederation on the region and which led to the overthrow of the Cape Colony's first elected government in 1878 and to a string of regional wars, culminating in the invasion of Zululand (1879) and the First Boer War (1880–1881).

Quotes about edit

  • In the earlier part of his memoir, Sir Bartle Frere had compared our mode of treating uncivilized races to that of the Romans. He heartily wished that the resemblance held in certain essential points. Our military hold was as firm, our tolerance of local customs was as great, our dealings were as just, and more just than theirs. But we did not amalgamate with them as the Romans did, we did not intermarry; by means of our missionaries we pressed upon them a form of religion which was not the most congenial. Our civilization was stiff. This, and much more, was pointed out in a very able and most pathetic memoir by Mr. Blyden, the present Minister of Liberia to England, who is a full-blooded negro. The article appeared in ``Frazer’s Magazine some years ago, and it showed the repressive effect of White civilization upon the Negroes, as contrasted with that of the Mohammedans. It was a shame to us as an Imperial nation, that representatives of the many people whom we governed, did not find themselves more at home among us. They seldom appeared in such meetings as the present one; they did not come to England. We did not see them in the streets. It was very different in ancient Rome, where the presence of foreigners from all parts of the then known world was a characteristic feature of every crowd. He did not now suggest any action, but merely wished to lay stress on this serious drawback to our national character as rulers of a great Empire. He thought they were greatly indebted to Sir Bartle Frere for introducing to public notice so important a subject as the best form of conduct of civilized races towards their less civilized neighbours, and he trusted that it would meet with that full and many-sided discussion which so important a question deserved.
    • Francis Galton in the Discussion section of: Henry Bartle Frere. “On the Laws Affecting the Relations Between Civilized and Savage Life, as Bearing on the Dealings of Colonists with Aborigines.” The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 11, 1882, pp. 313–54. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.2307/2841758. p. 353

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