Joseph Foveaux

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Joseph Foveaux (1767 – 20 March 1846) was a soldier and convict settlement administrator in colonial New South Wales, Australia.

Foveaux was baptised on 6 April 1767 at Ampthill, Bedfordshire, England, the sixth child of Joseph Foveaux and his wife Elizabeth, née Wheeler.

Foveaux was an ensign in the 60th regiment and then joined the New South Wales Corps in June 1789 as lieutenant and reached Sydney in 1791. There he was promoted to major and, as senior officer between August 1796 and November 1799, he controlled the Corps at a time when the senior officers were making fortunes from trading and extending their lands. He soon became the largest landholder and stock-owner in the colony.

In 1800, having established a reputation as an able and efficient administrator, Foveaux offered to go to Norfolk Island as Lieutenant-Governor. Finding the island run down, he built it up with particular attention to public works, for which he earned the praise of Governor King.

During this period, part of the first settlement of Norfolk Island (1788–1814), Norfolk Island was basically a free settlement with convicts making up no more than 10 per cent of the population. While some individuals were sent from Sydney as a means of isolation, the Island was...
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