Brisbane, James (DNB00)

BRISBANE, Sir JAMES (1774–1826), commodore, fifth son of Admiral John Brisbane, and brother of Rear-admiral Sir Charles Brisbane [q. v.], entered the navy in 1787 on board the Culloden. After serving in various ships he was transferred to the Queen Charlotte, bearing the flag of Lord Howe, to whom he acted as signal-midshipman in the battle of 1 June. He was made lieutenant on 23 Sept. 1794, and served at the reduction of the Cape of Good Hope. He was afterwards moved into the Monarch, Sir George Elphinstone's flagship, and was present in her at the capture of the Dutch squadron in Saldanha Bay 18 Aug. 1796. Sir George promoted Brisbane into one of the prizes, and soon afterwards moved him into the Daphne frigate, in command of which he returned to England. The promotion, however, was not confirmed till 27 May 1797. In 1801 Brisbane was appointed to the command of the Cruiser sloop, attached to the Baltic fleet under Sir Hyde Parker. He was more particularly attached to the division under Lord Nelson, and on the nights of 30 and 31 March had especial charge of the work of sounding and buoying the channels approaching Copenhagen (Nelson Despatches, iv. 302-303). In acknowledgment of his services on this occasion he was promoted to post rank on 2 April 1801, and in the latter part of the year commanded the Saturn as flag-captain to Rear-admiral Totty until the admiral's death, when the ship was paid off. From 1803-5 he had command of the sea fencibles of Kent, and in 1807 of the Alcmene frigate on the coast of Ireland and in the Channel. In 1808 he was appointed to the Belle Poule, a 38-gun frigate, and was ordered by Lord Collingwood to take command of the squadron blockading Corfu. Whilst so employed he captured on 15 Feb. 1809 the French frigate Var, which had endeavoured to break the blockade. He was afterwards engaged in the reduction of the Ionian islands and the establishment of the septinsular republic. He continued in the Adriatic till the summer of 1811, during which time he captured or destroyed several of the enemy's small cruisers, and was repeatedly engaged with their batteries on different parts of the coast. In September 1812 Brisbane was appointed to the Pembroke in the Channel fleet, and the following summer was again sent to the Mediterranean, where he was actively employed. In 1815 he again served in the Mediterranean, and in 1816 in the expedition against Algiers. After the bombardment on 27 Aug. he was sent home with despatches, and on 2 Oct. received the honour of knighthood. He had already been made a C.B. in June 1815. In 1825 he was appointed commander-in-chief in the East Indies, where he arrived in time to direct the concluding operations of the first Burmese war, for his services in which he was officially thanked by the governor-general in council. His health, however, had suffered severely, and was never reestablished. He lingered for some months, and died at Penang on 19 Dec. 1826. He married in 1800 the only daughter of Mr. John Ventham, by whom he had one son and two daughters.

[Marshall's Roy. Nav. Biog. iii. (vol. ii.) 400; James's Naval History (1860), vi. 337.]

J. K. L.