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Horace Byatt

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Sir Horace Archer Byatt

Ninth Governor of Trinidad and Tobago

Born on the 22nd March 1875 in Tottenham

Died on the 8th April 1933

As a Middlesex school teacher he taught H. G. Wells (novelist, wrote The Invisible Man and others) at Midhurst Grammar School.

He attended Lincoln College, Oxford, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1898

Following university, he began a career in the Colonial Service.

In 1898 he began working in Nyasaland (what is now Malawi), and in 1905, he went to British Somaliland.

He was appointed commissioner and commander-in-chief of British Somaliland in 1911, serving until 1914, when he became Colonial Secretary in Gibraltar.

From 1914 to 1916 he was lieutenant-governor and Colonial Secretary of Malta.

From 1916 he was an administrator in British East Africa, and in 1920 he became the first governor of the new.

 

British mandate of Tanganyika. In Tanganyika he was responsible for the transfer of power between the Germans and the British, following World War I.

He was noted as a liberal governor with sympathies towards African interests.

He was governor and commander in chief of Trinidad and Tobago between1924 and 1929.

The colony faced political unrest, led by Captain Arthur Cipriani. The founder of the Trinidad Working Men's Association, working class solidarity became more important over the ethnic divide. The unrest increased with the drop in cocoa prices, and the Trinidad Working Men's Association pressed for better wages and working conditions, as well as constitution reform.

The first elections for a legislative council took place in the colony in 1925. The white planters still wanted to exert political dominion. Governor Byatt nominated five of the members, leaving the sixth place vacant until after the election. However he nominated another white member, this caused protest in the Indian Community as they hoped it would be an Indian. The Colonial Office also disapproved but eventually dropped the matter.

He persuaded the Colonial Office to raise the limit on individual loans by the Agricultural Loan Bank, to assist poorer farmers

In 1930, he was replaced as Governor of Trinidad and Tobago by Sir Alfred Claud Hollis.