Wallace, Sir James (1731-1803)
James Wallace was born in England in 1731. In 1746, he entered the Royal Navy, and in 1755, he
was promoted lieutenant and served on several ships in the Mediterranean and the West Indies.
He became a commander in 1762. In April 1763 he was appointed to the North American
station, and visited Newfoundland at least once. He was stationed again in North America in
1774 on the Rose, where he remained until January 1777, returning again the next year.
On April 12, 1794, Wallace was promoted Rear-Admiral and commander-in-chief and governor
of Newfoundland, where he sailed on the Romney of 50 guns. During his term, Wallace's primary
concern was for the defense of the island. He was engaged in protecting the coasts from French
privateers, and successfully defended St. John's against a French squadron of seven ships and
three frigates in August 1796. However, the fleet went on to attack other settlements. Wallace
also raised a militia known as "Skinner's Fencibles".
He departed Newfoundland the following year for England, and left active service. On 1 June,
1795 he was promoted Vice-Admiral, and on 1 January, 1801 he was promoted Admiral. He died
in London on 6 January 1803.
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