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James FitzGibbon

James FitzGibbon
Born 16 November 1780
Glin, County Limerick, Ireland
Died 10 December 1863(1863-12-10) (aged 83)
London, England
Allegiance  Kingdom of Great Britain
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1795 - 1825
Rank Captain
Battles/wars War of 1812

James FitzGibbon (16 November 1780 – 10 December 1863) was a British soldier and hero of the War of 1812.

Biography

Born to Garrett (Gerald) FitzGibbon and Mary Widenham in Glin, County Limerick, Ireland, he enlisted in the Knight of Glin's Yeomanry Corps at age 15. [1] Three years later, he joined the Tarbert Infantry Fencibles, an Irish home service regiment, from which he was recruited into the British Army's 49th Regiment of Foot as a private soldier. He first fought in battle in 1799 at Egmond aan Zee, the Netherlands. He later served as a marine in the Battle of Copenhagen, for which he received the Naval General Service Medal.

He went to Sergeant-Major, his commanding officer, Isaac Brock, made him an officer. This was extremely unusual at the time as most officers' commissions were bought. Later the same year he was appointed regimental adjutant. In 1809, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

FitzGibbon fought at the Niagara Peninsula. It was he who was warned by Laura Secord on 22 June about an impending surprise attack by 500 American troops. [2] This led to the Battle of Beaver Dams near present day Thorold, Ontario, where FitzGibbon's force, together with about 400 Mohawk and Odawa warriors, defeated the Americans and took 462 prisoners. The victory made FitzGibbon a popular hero and he was promoted to Captain in the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles.

In 1814 he fought at the Toronto from William Lyon Mackenzie's rebel force. [1]

A Freemason, from 1822 to 1826, he was deputy provincial grand master, the highest office in Upper Canada. He moved to England in 1847 after the death of his wife Mary Haley, with whom he had four sons and a daughter. In 1850 he was appointed a Military Knight of Windsor.

He died at signet ring and a ceremonial sword, to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

References

  1. ^ a b "McKenzie, Ruth. FITZGIBBON, JAMES, Dictionary of Canadian Biography.". Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "McKenzie, Ruth. INGERSOLL, LAURA (Secord), Dictionary of Canadian Biography.". Retrieved 8 June 2010. 

External links

  • The Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles
  • Dictionary of Canadian Biography OnlineBiography at the
  • Historica’s Heritage Minute video docudrama about “Laura Secord.” (Adobe Flash Player.)
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