The Governor of the Cape Colony in 1818 was Lord Charles Somerset. It was he who first issued a proclamation launching the first South African Public Library. Somerset stipulated that a wine tax would be levied "to place the means of knowledge within the reach of the youth of this remote corner of the Globe, and bring within their reach what the most eloquent of ancient writers has considered to be one of the first blessings of life, 'Home Education'." The Library's first significant acquisition was the collection of Joachim Nicolaus von Dessin, who bequeathed his books to the Dutch Reformed Church in 1761 to serve as the foundation of a public library. In 1820 the board of trustees decided to donate the Dessinian Collection to the new library. Other notable donations followed over the years, among others Sir George Grey who when he left South Africa in 1861 presented the Library with his remarkable personal collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and rare books. Sir George Grey was an avid book collector, and left the library with its most valubale repository of not only medieval incunabula, but also early texts written in African languages, and correspondences between himself and prominent African leaders of his day.