Sir Henry Ernest Gascoyne Bulwer GCMG

Sir Henry Bulwer was Lieutenant-Governor to the colony of Natal from 1875 to 1880. At the time of the Zulu War he was 43 years old, and found himself caught between the two antagonists, Bartle Frere and Cetshwayo, trying hard to keep the peace. He attempted to restrain Frere from provoking Cetshwayo. The Zulu king asked Bulwer to arbitrate between him and Frere, and Bulwer set up the Boundary commission whose findings were unacceptable to the British government and their plan for confederation.

When Cetshwayo executed two wives of chief Sihayo who had committed adultery and fled to Natal, Bulwer demanded the handing over of the men who had pursued the women into Natal. When Frere decided to progress with his invasion plan he pressured Bulwer for the raising and training of 7,000 native levies which he reluctantly agreed to. Bulwer's relations with Lord Chelmsford were also strained because of Chelmsford's high expectations of military help from Natal.

Henry Bulwer was the nephew of Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer. He was a career diplomat and administrator, serving as Consular-General in North Borneo and as High Commissioner for Cyprus (1886-92). He was born on 11th Dec 1836 and died on 30th Sep 1914.

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by Stephen Luscombe