Fitzgerald was the son of Robert Fitzgerald, who came from the Irish Kilkee. In March 1809 he joined the Royal Navy and served a long time in the Coast Guard. As captain of the ships cruiser and Belvidera he was employed from 1833-36 in the waters in North America and the Caribbean, 1838, he fought off the West African coast the slave trade. Two years later, he suffered serious injuries and returned invalided back to England, where he received half-pay.
From 1844-47 Fitzgerald held the post of governor of the colony Gambia. After a period of service without incident, he was appointed in July 1847 Governor of Western Australia. However, since he insisted at first to take the him nor leave entitlements, he arrived in Perth in August 1848.
After his arrival Fitzgerald realized that the financial reserves of the colony were nearly exhausted. The colony consisted of roughly 5,000 settlers, and the difficult economic situation made it difficult to recruit new boiler. Fitzgerald succeeded in the economy of the colony would be reinvigorated. After he had convinced the settlers, he caused that several groups of convicts from England were transferred to the colony, so that by their forced labor, the colony could be taken forward. 1855, at the end of the period of service of Fitzgerald, a total of 3,668 prisoners were brought to Western Australia, half of whom had the right to accept employment in the private sector. Overall, the population of the colony grew under Fitzgerald to about 12,000.
In 1855 he returned to end his tenure on the family estate in Ireland Kilkee, where he died in 1887 at the age of about 90 years.
Awards and honors
- Companion of the Order of the Bath (1855 )
The City of Geraldton in Western Australia is named in his honor.