FitzGerald, James Edward
b. 1818-03-04
d. 1896-08-02
FitzGerald was born and educated in Bath, Somerset, England. He went on to graduate with his BA from Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1842. Shortly thereafter, in 1844, he took work at the British Museum, where he would become under-secretary in 1848, a position referenced in the minutes of an 1847 despatch in which FitzGerald presents his colonizing scheme for Vancouver Island to Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies Benjamin Hawes. Clearly, colonial issues suited him as he became the first secretary of the Colonial Reform Society in 1850.1
Also in 1850, he married Frances Erskine, and both set off for Lyttelton, New Zealand, in the same year. It would be here that FitzGerald would leave his mark as the founder of the newspaper, the Lyttelton Times, a sub-inspector of police from 1851-63, and as an immigration agent. FitzGerald was a key figure in New Zealand's Parliament, where he would, eventually, lobby for the Maori to have special representation in both houses, something achieved after his retirement in 1865. He spent the remainder of his working life as a civil servant, in a variety of capacities, but he would be remembered more for his skills as a writer, journalist, newspaper owner, and national-education advocate. He died in Wellington in 1896.2
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Hawes, Benjamin

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Vancouver Island

The Colonial Despatches Team. FitzGerald, James Edward. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. The Colonial Despatches Team. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/fitzgerald_je.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)