Born on 2nd of January 1727
Died on 13rd of September 1759
General James Wolfe was born 2nd January 1727 and died 13th September 1759. He was a British army officer, known chiefly for his victory over the French in Canada and establishing British rule there. Wolfe was born in Westerham, Kent, the eldest son of Colonel Edward Wolfe and his wife, Henrietta. In 1738 his family moved to Greenwich in London. His military career began at the age of 13 when he entered his father's 1st Marine regiment. His first taste of combat came in 1740 when he fought with the 12th Regiment of Foot infantry in the War of Austrian Succession, where he was soon promoted to lieutenant. In 1743, Wolfe fought at the Battle of Dettingen where his skills were noted by the Duke of Cumberland, and he was promoted to Captain of the 45th Regiment of Foot a year later. In 1746 Wolfe served in Scotland in the campaign to defeat the Jacobite forces of Charles Stuart at the Battles of Falkirk and Culloden. After this he returned to fight in Germany and the War of the Austrian Succession where he was wounded. Wolfe then returned to Britain, aged just 21. During peacetime, he was based in Scotland for the next 8 years, where he was lieutenant colonel of the 20th Regiment, stationed in Stirling. At the outbreak of the Seven Years War with France in 1756, Wolfe was promoted to colonel where he fought in battles at Rochefort and Fortress Louisbourg, New France. The prime minister, William Pitt the Elder, promoted Wolfe to major general and chose him to lead the British assault on Quebec City in 1759. He began a battle of psychological intimidation by distributing a written document amongst the Canadian people entitled Wolfe's Manifesto. This convinced the locals that the British would protect them if they did not fight against them or side with the French, but would destroy all their towns, land and cattle should they go against them. Wolfe was renowned for being a demanding leader, both on himself and his troops. After an extensive bombardment of the city of Quebec, Wolfe then led an audacious landing at the base of the cliffs west of Quebec along the St. Lawrence River where his army scaled the cliffs on the morning of September 13th 1759, taking the French by surprise. Extensive fighting then broke out at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham where Wolfe was shot in the chest, dying just as the British became victors. Wolfe's defeat of the French led to the British capture of the New France department of Canada, making him a hero in his native Britain as well as in Canada. Wolfe's body was returned to Britain and interred in the family vault in St Alfege Church , Greenwich.
internal link Squerryes Court - Visited often by Wolfe
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