1848 – 1855

Captain Fitzgerald was the son of a country gentleman of Irish ancestry and became a captain in the Royal Navy. He served as Governor of the Gambia Settlements in West Africa.

As Governor of Western Australia from 12 August 1848, he is largely remembered for the role he played in introducing convicts to Western Australia. Settlers had battled to keep the colony afloat but with Governor Fitzgerald’s support, it was decided to make Western Australia a penal settlement. The compulsory labour and system had a massive impact on the colony’s public infrastructure.

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