O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'
O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'


The Royal NavyO'Byrne

The following is the entry for James Stirling in William O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'.

STIRLING, Kt. (Capt., 1818. f-p., 21; h-p., 23.)

Sir James Stirling, born in 1791, is fifth son of the late Andrew Stirling, Esq., of Drumpellier, by Anne, daughter of Sir Walter Stirling, Kt., Captain R.N., and sister of the late Sir Walter Stirling, Bart., and the late Vice-Admiral Chas. Stirling.
This officer entered the Navy, 12 Aug. 1803, aa Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Camel store-ship, Capt. John Ayscough, fitting for the West Indies, where he became Midshipman of the Hercule 74, bearing the flag of Sir John Thos. Duckworth, and Prince George 98, Capt. Geo. Losack. Joining next the Glory 98, he fought in that ship in Sir Robt. Calder's action under the flag of Rear-Admiral Chas. Stirling, whom he followed into the Sampson and Diadem 64’s. On his return to England, after witnessing the fall of Monte Video, he was received, about April, 1808, on board the Warspite 74, Capt. Hon. Henry Blackwood, stationed at first in the North Sea and Channel, and then in the Mediterranean. He obtained his first commission 12 Aug. 1809; was appointed, 1 April and 27 Oct. 1810, to the Hibernia 120 and Armide 38, both commanded, on Home service, by Capt. Rich. Dalling Dunn; became, in Nov. 1811, Flag-Lieutenant, in the Arethusa 38, to Admiral Stirling, on the Jamaica station; was there, 27 Feb. 1812, placed in acting command of the Moselle 18; and on 19 June in the same year was confirmed a Commander in the Brazen sloop, mounting 28 guns. At the commencement of the war with America we find him cruizing for four months off the Mississippi, where he succeeded in destroying a considerable amount of the enemy’s property. Although the Brazen was on one occasion dismasted in a hurricane, he maintained his station by cutting and framing masts and spars from the neighbouring forests at Pensacola. In 1813 he was sent to Hudson’s Bay for the purpose of affording protection to the settlements and shipping in that quarter; and in the winter of the same year he was ordered on special service to the coast of Holland with H.S.H. the reigning Duke of Brunswick. After cruizing on the coast of Ireland he again sailed for the Gulf of Mexico. On the conclusion of hostilities he was nominated Acting-Captain of the Cydnus 38, owing to the death of her Captain; but returning soon to the Brazen, and being re-appointed to her on the peace establishment, he continued to serve in that vessel in the West Indies until paid off in Aug. 1818. “I cannot,” writes the Commander-in-Chief in a letter addressed to the Admiralty on the eve of the Brazen's departure, “permit Capt. Stirling to quit this station without expressing to their Lordships my entire satisfaction with his conduct while under my command. The zeal and alacrity he always displayed in the execution of whatever service he was employed upon are above my praise; but it is to his acquaintance with foreign languages, his thorough knowledge of the station, particularly the Spanish Main, and his gentlemanlike and conciliatory manners, that I am so much indebted for assisting me in the preservation of a friendly intercourse with the foreign colonies in this command. I conceive it will be as gratifying to their Lordships to hear as it is for me to make so honourable a report of this intelligent and excellent officer, whom I detach from my command with considerable regret; but I feel at the same time a very sincere pleasure in thus recommending him to their Lordships’ notice.” Capt. Stirling's promotion to Post-rank took place 7 Dec. in the same year (1818). His next appointment was, 25 Jan. 1826, to the Success 28; and in this ship he was sent to form a settlement at Raffles Bay, in Torres Strait – a service which he accomplished in so able a manner as to cause his being highly complimented by the Naval Commander-in-Chief and the Government of New South Wales. In Oct. 1828, nine months after he had left the Success, he was selected to take command of an expedition intended to form a colony in Western Australia, where he remained until induced, in 1839, to tender his resignation, for the purpose of resuming the occupations attached to his profession, having during that period, surrounded as he was with the difficulties inseparable from the establishment of a new settlement, evinced a degree of zeal and ability that procured him, 3 April, 1833, the honour of Knighthood, and ultimately the acknowledgments of Her Majesty. To quote from an animated address presented to him by the colonists on leaving, “they could testify with confidence and gratitude that the general tenor of his Excellency’s administration had been highly and deservedly popular; that they had invariably experienced in him a friend of warm and ready sympathy with individual distress, an entire and liberal promoter of every good and useful institution, an able and zealous patron of every enterprise suggested for the general welfare, and in all the domestic and social relations of private life an example worthy of his high station.” On the prospect of a war with France Sir Jas. Stirling was appointed, 30 Oct. 1840, to the Indus 78. He continued in that ship, in the Mediterranean, until paid off in June, 1844; and since 28 April, 1847, he has been in command of the Howe 120, now on the same station. Before the Indus returned to England he received from Sir Edw. Owen, the Commander-in-Chief, a letter expressive of the sense he entertained of the efficiency of that ship in all that constitutes a perfect man-of-war, and of the admiration which the order and discipline on board had excited in all the foreign ports she had visited.
Sir Jas. Stirling is a Knight Commander of the Order of the Redeemer of Greece. He married, in 1823, Ellen, daughter of the late Jas. Mangles, Esq., M.P. for Guildford, by whom he has issue nine children. Agents – Messrs. Ommanney.


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