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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Fitzpatrick, Michael

Fitzpatrick, Michael, M.L.A., was born at Parramatta, N.S.W., on Dec. 16th, 1816, and educated at a Roman Catholic school and at the Australian College, where he entered in Jan. 1832, and carried off the highest prizes. After acting as tutor at the Normal Institution, he became a clerk in the Lands Department of New South Wales in Oct. 1837, first-class clerk in 1846, and clerk of the Executive Council in 1851. Mr. Fitzpatrick was selected as the first Under Secretary for Lands and Works in 1856, on the introduction of responsible government. When these departments were divided, he held the office of Under Secretary for Lands until 1869, when he retired on a pension. In December of that year he was returned for the district of Yass Plains, and represented the constituency in several parliaments. He first supported the Cowper-Robertson party, and afterwards voted with Sir Henry Parkes. He was Colonial Secretary in Mr. Farnell's Administration from Dec. 1877 to Dec. 1878. Mr. Fitzpatrick married, in August 1846, Theresa Anastasia, third daughter of Captain Small, Superintendent of Hyde Park Barracks. He died on Dec. 10th, 1881. Owing, as it was supposed, to his attitude on the education question, he was refused the rites of Christian burial by the Roman Catholic authorities. A great sensation was created, and ultimately on Dec. 22nd it was officially notified that the contretemps had arisen through a mistake, and a funeral service was performed over the grave.