1884, after some months spent in cruising along the Somali coast in an Arab dhow, he embarked at Aden for Berbera. Thence he made his way, in company with his brother and four others, into the interior of the Somali country. In spite of previous attempts on the part of Burton, Speke, Haggenmacher, and others, this region had hitherto been unexplored beyond sixty or seventy miles from the coast. James now succeeded in getting as far south as the Webbe Shebeyli River, where he found a wide fertile country which markedly contrasted with the deserts he had traversed. The remarkable feat of taking a caravan of nearly a hundred people and a hundred camels a thirteen days' journey across a waterless waste led Lord Aberdare, in his annual address to the Royal Geographical Society in 1885, to describe the expedition as one of the most interesting and difficult in all recent African travel. A representative collection of flora which was made in the course of the expedition was presented to the Kew Herbarium, while a collection of lepidoptera was presented to the natural history branch of the British Museum. A graphic account of the whole undertaking is given in ‘The Unknown Horn of Africa, an Exploration from Berbera to the Leopard River,’ written by James on his return, and published in 1888; 2nd edit. 1890.
During 1886, 1887, and 1888 James spent most of his time on his yacht, the Lancashire Witch, and visited the Persian Gulf, Spitzbergen, and Novaya Zemlya. In the spring of 1890 he ascended the Niger, and made a series of inland expeditions on the West African coast. On 21 April he landed from his anchorage off San Benito, about one hundred miles north of the Gaboon River, and within a mile of the shore was killed by an elephant which he and his friends had wounded. He was buried in Kensal Green cemetery. A home for yacht sailors was established at East Cowes as a memorial to him by his two brothers, Arthur and William Dodge James, and his personal friends. As an explorer James was distinguished by his powers of organisation and by his tact in the management of natives. In private life he was noted for extreme generosity. His literary and artistic tastes were manifested in the fine library and superb collection of eighteenth-century proof engravings which he formed at his house, 14 Great Stanhope Street, London.
[James's Works and Obituary Notice by J. A. and W. D. James, prefixed to 1890 edition of the Unknown Horn of Africa (with portrait); information kindly communicated by James Godfrey Thrupp, Esq., surgeon to the Somali expedition; Royal Geogr. Soc. Proc. vii. 265, xii. 426; Times, 29 Dec. 1888; Sat. Rev. 17 Nov. 1888.]
JAMES, GEORGE (d. 1795), portrait-painter, was born in London, and studied for some time in Rome. Establishing himself in Dean Street, Soho, London, he became a member of the Incorporated Society of Artists, and exhibited with them from 1761 to 1768.
In 1764 he exhibited a painting called 'The Death of Abel.' In the latter year he sent a large picture of the three Ladies Waldegrave, which met with severe criticism. In 1770 James was elected an associate of the Royal Academy, and up to 1779 was a regular contributor of portraits to its exhibitions. In 1780 he removed to Bath, where he practised with some success, and in 1789 and 1790 again appeared at the Royal Academy. Later he retired to Boulogne, where he died early in 1795, after suffering imprisonment during the reign of terror. Having inherited house property in Soho, and marrying a woman of some fortune, James was independent of his profession. His portraits, though carefully painted, were poorly drawn and without character.
[Edwards's Anecdotes of Painting; Sandby's Hist. of the Royal Academy; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760-1880.]
JAMES, GEORGE PAYNE RAINSFORD (1799–1860), novelist, born in George Street, Hanover Square, on 9 Aug. 1799, was son of Pinkstan James, M.D. (1766–1830), a physician in practice in London, who had previously been an officer in the navy (Munk, Coll. of Physicians, ii. 466). Robert James [q. v.], the inventor of James's powder, was his grandfather. He was educated at the Rev. William Carmalt's school at Putney, where he readily acquired a good knowledge of French and Italian, and is said to have shown some turn for Persian and Arabic. While still a youth he travelled much on the continent; read history and poetry widely, although in a desultory way; and became acquainted with Cuvier, Darwin, and other eminent men. Influenced by Sir Walter Scott's style, he soon began to write romances, which had some success in the magazines, and while living the life of a man of fashion in London, he continued his historical studies. He had expected to have been able to enter political life, but about 1827 this hope was abandoned (see, however, J. Morley, Life of Cobden, ed. 1881, i. 272). Fortified by the encouragement of both Scott and Washington Irving, he continued his career as a novelist, and producing about one romance in every