James Wolfe was born on 2nd January 1727 to Lieutenant-General Edward Wolfe and Henrietta Thomson. He attended school at Westerham, Kent where the family lived until 1737 when they moved to Greenwich.
In 1741 James Wolfe was given his first commission as second lieutenant in the marines. He first saw action at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743. He returned to Britain and fought with the crown against Scotland at the Battle of Falkirk and the Battle of Culloden 1746. He saw more action in the War of the Austrian Succession and by the time that war ended in 1748 he had been promoted to the rank of General.
Following this he was stationed in Scotland where in addition to his military duties he taught himself Mathematics and Latin.
In 1756 the Seven Years War with France began after taking part in manoeuvres off the Atlantic Coast he was promoted to the rank of General. In 1758 and sent to lead an expedition to French-controlled Canada. He had instructions to take control of the Lawrence river and laid siege to Louisville which subsequently fell.
In March 1759 Wolfe sailed up the Lawrence river to Quebec where he intended to lay siege to the city. He landed at the base of cliffs near Quebec and then scaled the cliffs. The French became alarmed and fearing that the British would drag heavy canon and other weapons up the cliffs the French met the English on the Fields of Abraham. The French were very quickly defeated but Wolfe had been fatally shot three times.
With Quebec in British hands it was only a matter of months before the French were driven out and Canada became subject to British rule.
Wolfe’s body was returned to Britain where it was buried on 20th November next to his father in the family vault at Greenwich.