Prior to that, Ibbetson had been Resident Councillor at Penang from 1826, id est (that is) prior to Governor Fullerton"s move of the seat of the Straits Government from Penang to Singapore (12 November 1829), after which time Ibbetson assumed the role of governor of Penang, as the sole survivor of the officials appointed to the new Penang Presidency in 1805. The departure of the last Governor is also recorded in the Gazette. The issue of 29 August 1829 carries the following notification:
"The Honorable the Governor, being about to proceed to Singapore and Malacca, NOTICE is hereby given that this station will cease to be the seat of Government from the date of his departure, and the charge of the settlement will devolve upon the Honorable Robert Ibbetson, Resident Councillor.
To whom all local references will be made."
Robert Ibbetson joined the service in 1804 as a writer
In 1807 he was appointed an assistant in the Secretary" General’ s Office. In 1808 he was appointed to assistant in the Collector" General’ s Office.
In 1810 he was made Deputy Collector at Malacca and promoted in 1810 to Collector and his responsibilities expanded to include Paymaster and Commissary of Provisions, at Malacca. In 1811 he was Factor, Paymaster and Storekeeper.
In 1814 he was Junior Merchant and Commissary for the Recovery of Small Debts.
In 1817 he was promoted to Senior Merchant and Sheriff. In 1820 he was Paymaster and Storekeeper and Suptd of the Company"s Law Suits. In 1824 he was Secretary and actg Accountant.
In 1826 he was Fourth in Council and Resident Councillor at Malacca.
In 1826 he was Resident Counsellor at Penang. In 1827 his responsibilities expanded to include Suptd of Landed Tenures, Collector of Quit Rents, and Civil & Marine Warehouse Keeper.
In 1828 he was made Second in Council. In 1829 he was assisted by James William Salmond, Second Assistant to the Resident Councillor at Penang.