Wolfe, James (1727 -1759)
General James Wolfe was the eldest son of Lieutenant General Edward Wolfe, and Henrietta, daughter of Edward Thompson, of Marsden in Yorkshire. Following his education at a school in Greenwich kept by the Rev. Samuel Swinden, he entered the army in 1741 as a Second Lieutenant in his father's regiment of Marines, at that time the 44th of Foot. On 27 March 1742, he became an Ensign in the 12th of Foot. At the Battle of Dettingen in 1743 he was the middle of the first line. He was acting Adjutant and had his horse shot from under him. He was promoted Adjutant and Lieutenant after the battle, and Captain in the 4th Regiment of Foot in 1744, and Brigade Major in 1745, and for three years was on the staff. He was on General Wade's staff during the 45 rebellion and was at Culloden in 1746. He joined the 20th of Foot at Stirling as Major, and as his Lieutenant Colonel went to Nova Scotia shortly afterwards as Governor, he was in command of the Regiment except when the Colonel was present. In 1750 he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel of the Regiment. At this time he tried to make good the deficiencies of his education, taking lessons in mathematics and Latin while the regiment was at Glasgow, and he wished to travel abroad to improve his French, and study artillery and engineering. He was refused leave to do this on the grounds that a Lieutenant Colonel should not be away from his regiment for any length of time. In 1752 he did get permission and went to France, where he took lessons in French, riding, fencing and dancing. In September 1757 he was Quarter Master General to the expedition against Rochefort under the command of his friend Sir John Mordaunt, but little was accomplished. He was made a Brevet Colonel as a result of the zeal he showed on this occasion. On 7 January 1758 he was offered a brigade in the expedition against Louisberg. The citadel was taken by a daring frontal attack against great odds, and Wolfe urged his general Amherst to attack Quebec. Returning to England he joined the second battalion of the 20th of Foot, now made the 67th of Foot and of which he had been made Colonel. He was promoted Major General on 12 January 1759, and given the command of a force against Quebec, Amherst was to take command against Montreal. He died on the Heights of Abraham before Quebec on 13 September 1759 in the act of taking the city, which surrendered on the 18th.