board the Wolf sloop at Penzance. In October 1775 he joined the Orpheus frigate, which sailed for North America on the 30th, and after a succession of heavy gales and snowstorms reached Halifax, dismasted and jury rigged, in ninety-seven days. In the Orpheus James took part in the reduction of New York; in September 1776 he was taken into the Chatham by Sir Peter Parker [q. v.], whom in December he followed to the Bristol, and with whom, in January 1778, he sailed for Jamaica, where Sir Peter was to be commander-in-chief. On arriving on the station James was made acting lieutenant, and appointed to command the Chameleon, from which he was afterwards moved to the Dolphin. In both he was employed constantly cruising, till on 10 Aug. he fell in with a squadron of French frigates, was captured, and sent into Cape François. After a disagreeable imprisonment of eight months he was exchanged and sent back to Port Royal, where the admiral presented him with a commission as lieutenant of the Porcupine sloop, one of the squadron, under Captain John Luttrell in the Charon, which, in October 1779, reduced the fort of Omoa in the Gulf of Honduras (Beatson, Nav. and Mil. Memoirs, iv. 482), and captured two galeons, with cargo and treasure valued at three million dollars. James was ordered to take one of the galeons to Jamaica, and was there appointed to the Charon, in which he sailed for England. A great part of the valuable cargo had been put on board the Leviathan, a worn-out ship of the line, doing duty as a store-ship, which foundered on the passage, 26 Feb. 1780. When she was seen to be in difficulties, James, with a party of seamen, was sent to help her, but nothing could be done; the sea was too high to permit of any trans-shipment of the cargo, and he had the mortification of seeing his prize-money go with her to the bottom.
In June Captain Luttrell was superseded in command of the Charon by Captain Thomas Symonds, and the ship sailed from Spithead in the beginning of August. At Cork she joined the Bienfaisant and two frigates, which put to sea on the 12th with a convoy of a hundred victuallers for North America. On the 13th they fell in with and captured the Comte d'Artois of 64 guns [see Macbride, John]; after which the Charon took sole charge of the convoy, and arrived at Charlestown on 14 Oct. During the next year she was engaged in active cruising on the coast; in September 1781 she was shut up in the York River, and after assisting in the defence of Yorktown, was destroyed by the enemy with red-hot shot. When Lord Cornwallis surrendered, James, with the other officers of the Charon, became a prisoner; he was sent to England on parole, and in March 1782 was exchanged. In June he was appointed to the Aurora frigate, and being in her at Spithead on 29 Aug., when the Royal George foundered, was in command of the Aurora's boats helping to pick up the survivors.
In May 1783 the Aurora was paid off, and James, with no prospect of employment and with a young family to provide for, engaged in business as a brewer. The brewery, however, proved a failure, and James retired from it in September 1785, embarrassed by a heavy load of debt, the clearing off of which totally exhausted his little property. After much anxiety he obtained command of a merchant ship, and continued engaged, principally in the West Indian trade, till March 1793, when, on news of the war with France reaching him at Jamaica, he fitted out a small tender of forty tons with fifteen men armed with cutlasses, and with the sanction of the senior officer went out to warn merchant ships outward bound. Incidentally he made some small prizes, which, however, were condemned as droits of admiralty. On another voyage he had better success, but only enough to cover his expenses; and in the summer he returned to England, where his ship was taken up by government as a transport for the expedition to the West Indies, and he himself appointed a transport agent [see Jervis, John, Earl of St. Vincent]. The transports arrived at Barbadoes on 10 Jan. 1794, and after a month's drill and exercise in landing and re-embarking moved on to Martinique, the reduction of which was completed by 25 March. During this time James was constantly employed in fatigue duty on shore, making roads, cutting fascines, or dragging guns into position. The seamen of the transports objected to this duty, as bringing them into a danger for which they had not shipped, and on one occasion wrote to the admiral complaining that they were needlessly exposed. The admiral mentioned the complaint to James, who next day, as his men were crossing an open space, halted them for a breathing spell, and questioned them on the subject. The French opened a sharp fire on them, and the men were anxious to move on; but James refused to stir till they had denied all knowledge of the complaint (Tucker, Memoirs of Earl St. Vincent, i. 114 n.) On 28 March, three days after the surrender of the last fort, James was appointed agent for the sale of the produce of the island, Jervis promising to take him in his flagship as soon as there was a vacancy.
In six weeks the agency brought him in about 3,000l., and on 13 May he was ap-