James Stirling KCB

James Stirling KCB (1791 - 1865)

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Adml. Sir James Stirling KCB aka Sterling
Born in Scotland, United Kingdommap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married in Stoke Church, Guildford, Surrey, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Guildford, Surrey, England, United Kingdommap
Profile last modified | Created 8 Sep 2015 | Last significant change: 21 Nov 2018
13:05: Nicolas LaPointe edited the Biography for James Stirling KCB. [Thank Nicolas for this]
This page has been accessed 608 times.

Categories: Western Australia Governors | Parmelia 1829 | Knights Commander of the Order of the Bath | British Notables.


James Stirling KCB is Notable.

James Stirling was the 5th son of Scottish parents Andrew and Ann Stirling who had 15 children in all. He joined the Royal Navy serving aboard the HMS Camel aged just 12 (one source says 13) as a no bounty volunteer - I.e.. he was unpaid. Shortly before his 14th birthday he became a midshipman and finally got paid for his work.

He served aboard the Hercules, Prince George, Glory (with his uncle Rear Admiral Stirling), Sampson, Diadem and on the Warspite where at the age of 19 he was promoted to Lieutenant. After the fall of Montevideo James was incorrectly listed as killed in action. By the age of 21 he was acting Commander aboard HMS Moselle and 3 months later was promoted to Commander of the HMS Brazen which attacked American ports during the Napoleonic wars. (Britain was technically at war with America during part of this time).

The Stirling family fortunes rose and fell but although James was away for much of the time he did all he could to support his family and made some 3000 pounds - a small fortune - available to his brothers to assist them in their business ventures.

James' first encounter with colonialism was during a time he provided an escort for ships bound for a settlement in Hudson Bay (Canada). When he finished serving in the Americas his Commander in Chief sent the following recommendation to the Admiralty in London:

James went on to fight the French but when the Napoleonic wars ended, Stirling had no ship to command and was put on half pay.

James was lucky to get so far in the Royal Navy as a cloud hung over the family name when uncle Charles (Vice Admiral Charles Stirling) was brought up on charges at a court martial and the charges were found to be 'partly proven.'

Uncle Charles like his father (Sir Walter Stirling) before him, was a hero of the Royal Navy but he fell foul of certain elements in the navy who were doing very nicely out of a kickback system where Royal Navy vessels transported cargoes for merchants in return for a share of the proceeds. This system went all the way to the top and when Charles Stirling had the temerity to try and stamp it out, he was set up and brought up on false charges. The proceedings were rigged and Charles retired on half pay and was never to be active in the service again.

James may well have languished as a low ranking officer for his entire career but he had ambition and he also had some friends who were to eventually to move into high office.

The Stirling family can be traced back all the way to 1125. They were Scottish nobility and had been supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie. Their allies were the Murray family and it was George Murray who was to come to prominence in the British Government and assist James in getting his Swan River venture accepted. (Murray Street in Perth was named after George and Stirling also named Hay and Wellington Streets after others who he saw as his allies.)

In September 1823 James married Ellen Mangles with whom he would eventually have 11 children. Ellen was only half his age but she turned out to be an inspirational choice, totally suited for life in the new colony as the new Governor's wife.


Admiral Sir James Stirling was born in January 1791.
He is the son of Andrew Stirling of Drumpellier and Anne Stirling.
He married Ellen Mangles, daughter of James Mangles and Mary Hughes, on 3 September 1823.
He died on 22 April 1865 at age 74.2 He was invested as a Knight Commander, Order of the Bath (K.C.B.).
He was 1st Governor W Australia in 1829.

Children of Ellen Mangles and Admiral Sir James Stirling

  1. Andrew Frederick Stirling b. 31 Oct 1824, d. Aug 1874
  2. Frederick Henry Stirling b. 26 Mar 1829, d. 1885
  3. Mary Stirling b. 1832, d. 17 Jun 1906
  4. Charles Edward Stirling b. 17 Jan 1834
  5. Agnes Stirling b: October 1st 1835 d; 1853
  6. Walter Albert Stirling b: 1837, d: 1875 killed at Cawnpore in the Indian mutiny.
  7. Ellinor Stirling b. 1840, d. 1911
  8. Anna Hamilton Stirling b. 1840, d. 13 Oct 1899
  9. Dorothea Stirling b: 1842 D; 1910
  10. Georgina Janet Stirling b. 1845, d. 4 Apr 1910


  • Wikipedia
  • The source of most of this data is Kittybrewster.com - Table J. — This is not a primary source and you are invited to improve upon it.
  • Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette 27 April 1865


1851 census for Belmont House, Bedhampton, Havant, Hampshire, England :
James Sterling : Head : Married : Age 60 : Kt. Br, Captain R. N. Half Pay, Farmer Of 50 Acres Employing 4 Laborers : Birth place Scotland.

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No known carriers of James's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 4
Admiral Sir James Sterling Image 1
Admiral Sir James Sterling Image 1

Death announcement for Admeral Sir James STIRLNG
Death announcement for Admeral Sir James STIRLNG

Will of Admiral Sir James STIRLING
Will of Admiral Sir James STIRLING

Admiral Sir James Sterling Image 4
Admiral Sir James Sterling Image 4

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On 25 Feb 2016 at 23:31 GMT Bill (Norton) N wrote:

This is the same man as STERLING-518 which is a misspelt surname.

On 25 Feb 2016 at 23:24 GMT Bill (Norton) N wrote:

Stirling-551 and Sterling-518 appear to represent the same person because: These are the same man but STERLING-518 has been misspelt. IT SHOULD BE Admiral Sir James STIRLING (28 January 1791 – 22 April 1865)

On 21 Dec 2015 at 14:31 GMT Sir William (Arbuthnot) Arbuthnot of Kittybrewster Bt wrote:

Wife's LNAB. Mangles

James is 26 degrees from Rosa Parks, 21 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 9 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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