John Forster FitzGerald
|Sir John FitzGerald|
County Clare, Ireland
|Died||24 March 1877 (aged 92 or 93)
|Buried at||Tours, France|
|Years of service||1793 – 1841|
|Commands held||20th Regiment of Foot
Divisional command in the Madras Army
Divisional command in the Bombay Army
|Awards||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath|
Field Marshal Sir John Forster FitzGerald, GCB (c.1785 – 24 March 1877), was a soldier from Ireland who served as an officer in the British Army. He fought in the Peninsular War, seeing action at the Battle of Badajoz, the Battle of Salamanca and the Battle of Vitoria and commanding a brigade during the Battle of the Pyrenees before being captured by the French Army. He became Commandant of Quebec and then went on to be Commandant of Montreal. He was given command of the 20th Regiment of Foot in Bombay before being given a divisional command in the Madras Army but shortly afterwards transferring to Bombay where he was given a divisional command of the Bombay Army. He later became a Liberal Member of Parliament.
Born the son of Edward FitzGerald and his second wife, a daughter of Major Thomas Burton, FitzGerald was commissioned as an ensign in Captain Shee's independent company of foot, then based in Ireland, on 29 October 1793. Promoted to lieutenant in January 1794, he transferred to the 46th Regiment of Foot with the rank of captain on 31 October 1800. He subsequently transferred to the newly formed New Brunswick Fencibles on 9 July 1803 and was promoted to brevet major on 25 September 1803. After exchanging into the 60th Royal Americans with the substantive rank of major in 1809, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 25 July 1810.
FitzGerald fought in the Peninsular War, seeing action at the Battle of Badajoz in March 1812, the Battle of Salamanca in July 1812 and the Battle of Vitoria in June 1813. He commanded a brigade during the Battle of the Pyrenees in July 1813 and was captured by the French Army but was released at the end of the War. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 2 January 1815.
After remaining with his regiment in Ireland for two years, FitzGerald was sent to Gibraltar in 1816 and to Canada in 1818. He became Commandant of Quebec in 1818 and, having been promoted to brevet colonel on 12 August 1819, he went on to be Commandant of Montreal. He was given command of the 20th Regiment of Foot in Bombay on 5 February 1824 before being promoted to major-general on 22 July 1830 and being advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 13 September 1831. He was given a divisional command in the Madras Army in 1838 and but shortly afterwards transferred to Bombay where he was given a divisional command of the Bombay Army. Returning to the United Kingdom in early 1841, he was promoted to lieutenant-general on 23 November 1841 and to full general on 20 June 1854.
FitzGerald was also colonel of the 85th Regiment of Foot (Bucks Volunteers), of the 62nd (Wiltshire) Regiment of Foot and then of the Royal Irish Regiment. He represented County Clare in Parliament on behalf of the Liberal Party from 1852 to 1857. He was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 19 November 1862 and promoted to field marshal on 29 May 1875. Having retired to France, FitzGerald decided, at an advanced age, to become a convert to the Catholic Church. He died at Tours in France on 24 March 1877; on the orders of Jean Auguste Berthaut, the French Minister of War, the garrison of Tours gave FitzGerald a funeral with the full military honours normally prescribed for a marshal of France. He was buried in St Symphorien cemetery in Tours.
In 1805 FitzGerald married Charlotte Hazen; their children included:
- Charlotte FitzGerald (1805–1853) who married Baron von Ende
- Anne FitzGerald (c.1808-1882) who married Sir Robert Keith Arbuthnot, 2nd Baronet
- Captain John Forster FitzGerald (1820-1848)
- "John Forster FitzGerald". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- Heathcote, p. 121
- "No. 15600". The London Gazette. 9 July 1803. p. 835.
- "No. 16390". The London Gazette. 24 July 1810. p. 1095.
- "No. 17061". The London Gazette. 16 September 1815. p. 1878.
- "No. 17505". The London Gazette. 12 August 1819. p. 1443.
- "No. 18709". The London Gazette. 23 July 1830. p. 1535.
- "No. 18850". The London Gazette. 13 September 1831. p. 1893.
- Heathcote, p. 122
- "No. 20044". The London Gazette. 24 November 1841. p. 3008.
- "No. 21564". The London Gazette. 22 June 1854. p. 1931.
- "No. 19845". The London Gazette. 10 April 1840. p. 947.
- "No. 20287". The London Gazette. 24 November 1843. p. 4000.
- "No. 21077". The London Gazette. 15 March 1850. p. 791.
- "No. 22679". The London Gazette. 10 November 1862. p. 5343.
- "No. 24213". The London Gazette. 29 May 1875. p. 2851.
- Morgan, p. 344
- "Sir John Forster FitzGerald". The Peerage.com. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- "Coney Island graveyard". Clare Roots Society. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- Heathcote, Tony (1999). The British Field Marshals, 1736–1997: A Biographical Dictionary. Barnsley: Leo Cooper. ISBN 0-85052-696-5.
- Morgan, Henry James (1903). Types of Canadian women and of women who are or have been connected with Canada. Toronto. ASIN B007SMJZUY.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by John Forster FitzGerald
Sir William Thornton
|Colonel of the
85th, or The King's
Regiment of Light Infantry
4 April 1840
Sir Thomas Pearson
Sir Archibald Campbell
|Colonel of the
62nd (Wiltshire) Regiment of Foot
21 Nov 1843
Sir James Fergusson
|Colonel of the
Royal Irish Regiment
9 March 1850
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
William Nugent Macnamara and
Sir Lucius O'Brien
|Member of Parliament for County Clare
With: Cornelius O'Brien
Lord Francis Nathaniel Conyngham and
Francis Macnamara Calcutt