James Wolfe
Overview
Major General James P. Wolfe (2 January 1727 – 13 September 1759) was a British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 officer, known for his training reforms but remembered chiefly for his victory over the French in Canada
Canada, New France
Canada was the name of the French colony that once stretched along the St. Lawrence River; the other colonies of New France were Acadia, Louisiana and Newfoundland. Canada, the most developed colony of New France, was divided into three districts, each with its own government: Quebec,...

. The son of a distinguished general, Lieutenant-General Edward Wolfe, he had received his first commission at a young age and saw extensive service in Europe where he fought during the War of the Austrian Succession
War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession  – including King George's War in North America, the Anglo-Spanish War of Jenkins' Ear, and two of the three Silesian wars – involved most of the powers of Europe over the question of Maria Theresa's succession to the realms of the House of Habsburg.The...

. His service in Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 and in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, where he took part in the suppression of the Jacobite Rebellion, brought him to the attention of his superiors.
Encyclopedia
Major General James P. Wolfe (2 January 1727 – 13 September 1759) was a British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 officer, known for his training reforms but remembered chiefly for his victory over the French in Canada
Canada, New France
Canada was the name of the French colony that once stretched along the St. Lawrence River; the other colonies of New France were Acadia, Louisiana and Newfoundland. Canada, the most developed colony of New France, was divided into three districts, each with its own government: Quebec,...

. The son of a distinguished general, Lieutenant-General Edward Wolfe, he had received his first commission at a young age and saw extensive service in Europe where he fought during the War of the Austrian Succession
War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession  – including King George's War in North America, the Anglo-Spanish War of Jenkins' Ear, and two of the three Silesian wars – involved most of the powers of Europe over the question of Maria Theresa's succession to the realms of the House of Habsburg.The...

. His service in Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 and in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, where he took part in the suppression of the Jacobite Rebellion, brought him to the attention of his superiors. The advancement of his career was halted by the Peace Treaty of 1748
Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)
The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle of 1748 ended the War of the Austrian Succession following a congress assembled at the Imperial Free City of Aachen—Aix-la-Chapelle in French—in the west of the Holy Roman Empire, on 24 April 1748...

 and he spent much of the next eight years in garrison duty in the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands
The Highlands is an historic region of Scotland. The area is sometimes referred to as the "Scottish Highlands". It was culturally distinguishable from the Lowlands from the later Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands...

.

The outbreak of the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 in 1756 offered Wolfe fresh opportunities for advancement. His part in the aborted attack on Rochefort
Raid on Rochefort
The Raid on Rochefort was a British amphibious attempt to capture the French Atlantic port of Rochefort in September 1757 during the Seven Years War...

 in 1757 led William Pitt
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham PC was a British Whig statesman who led Britain during the Seven Years' War...

 to appoint him second-in-command of an expedition to capture Louisbourg
Siege of Louisbourg (1758)
The Siege of Louisbourg was a pivotal battle of the Seven Years' War in 1758 which ended the French colonial era in Atlantic Canada and led directly to the loss of Quebec in 1759 and the remainder of French North America the following year.-Background:The British government realized that with the...

. Following the success of this operation he was made commander of a force designated to sail up the Saint Lawrence River
Saint Lawrence River
The Saint Lawrence is a large river flowing approximately from southwest to northeast in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It is the primary drainage conveyor of the Great Lakes Basin...

 to capture Quebec
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

. After a lengthy siege
Battle of the Plains of Abraham
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal battle in the Seven Years' War...

 Wolfe defeated a French force
Battle of the Plains of Abraham
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal battle in the Seven Years' War...

 under Montcalm
Louis-Joseph de Montcalm
Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, Marquis de Saint-Veran was a French soldier best known as the commander of the forces in North America during the Seven Years' War .Montcalm was born near Nîmes in France to a noble family, and entered military service...

 allowing British forces to capture the city. Wolfe was killed at the height of the battle due to injuries from three musket balls.

Wolfe's part in the taking of Quebec in 1759 earned him posthumous fame and he became an icon of Britain's victory in the Seven Years War
Great Britain in the Seven Years War
The Kingdom of Great Britain was one of the major participants in the Seven Years' War which lasted between 1756 and 1763. Britain emerged from the war as the world's leading colonial power having gained a number of new territories at the Treaty of Paris in 1763 and established itself as the...

 and subsequent territorial expansion. He was depicted in the painting The Death of General Wolfe
The Death of General Wolfe
The Death of General Wolfe is a well-known 1770 painting by Anglo-American artist Benjamin West depicting the death of British General James Wolfe during the 1759 Battle of Quebec of the Seven Years' War. It is an oil on canvas of the Enlightenment period...

. This painting became very famous around the world. Wolfe was posthumously dubbed "The Conqueror of Quebec", and also "The Conqueror of Canada" since the capture of Quebec led directly to the capture of Montreal which ended French control of the country.

Early life (1727-1740)

James Peter Wolfe was born in the local vicarage on 2 January 1727 (New Style or 22 December 1726 Old Style) at Westerham
Westerham
Westerham is a town and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, in South East England with 5,000 people. The parish is south of the North Downs, ten miles west of Sevenoaks. It covers 5800 acres . It is recorded as early as the 9th century, and was mentioned in the Domesday Book in a...

, Kent, the older of two sons of Colonel (later Lieutenant General) Edward Wolfe
Edward Wolfe
For Edward Wolfe the Battle of Britain Pilot see Edward Wolfe General Edward Wolfe was a British army officer who saw action in the War of the Spanish Succession, 1715 Jacobite Rebellion and the War of Jenkins Ear...

, a veteran soldier of Irish
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 origin, and the former Henrietta Thompson. His uncle was Edward Thompson MP, a distinguished politician. His relatively humble birth marked him out from many army officers at the time, who were disproportionatly drawn from the aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

 or gentry
Gentry
Gentry denotes "well-born and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past....

. Wolfe's childhood home in Westerham, known in his lifetime as Spiers, has been preserved in his memory under the name Quebec House
Quebec House
Quebec House is the birthplace of General James Wolfe on what is now known as Quebec Square in Westerham, Kent. The brick home is located in residential neighbourhood surrounded by historic homes and more modern 20th Century housing....

. Wolfe's family were long settled in Ireland and he regularly corresponded with his uncle Major Walter Wolfe in Dublin; Stephen Woulfe
Stephen Woulfe
Stephen Woulfe was an Irish barrister and Liberal politician. He served as Solicitor-General for Ireland, 1836 and as Attorney-General for Ireland in 1838; he became first Catholic to be Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer.-Life:...

, the distinguished Irish politician and judge of the next century, was from the Limerick branch of the same family.

Around 1738, the family moved to Greenwich, in London. From his earliest years, Wolfe was destined for a military career, entering his father's 1st Marine regiment as a volunteer at the age of thirteen.

Illness prevented him from taking part in a large expedition against Spanish-held Cartagena
Cartagena, Colombia
Cartagena de Indias , is a large Caribbean beach resort city on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region and capital of Bolívar Department...

 in 1740, and his father sent him home a few months later. He was fortunate to miss what proved to be a disaster for the British forces at the Siege of Cartagena
Battle of Cartagena de Indias
The Battle of Cartagena de Indias was an amphibious military engagement between the forces of Britain under Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon and those of Spain under Admiral Blas de Lezo. It took place at the city of Cartagena de Indias in March 1741, in present-day Colombia...

 during the War of Jenkins' Ear
War of Jenkins' Ear
The War of Jenkins' Ear was a conflict between Great Britain and Spain that lasted from 1739 to 1748, with major operations largely ended by 1742. Its unusual name, coined by Thomas Carlyle in 1858, relates to Robert Jenkins, captain of a British merchant ship, who exhibited his severed ear in...

 with most of the expedition dying from disease.

He had thirteen children, by a prostituite in a brothel in Essex.

European War

In 1740 the War of the Austrian Succession
War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession  – including King George's War in North America, the Anglo-Spanish War of Jenkins' Ear, and two of the three Silesian wars – involved most of the powers of Europe over the question of Maria Theresa's succession to the realms of the House of Habsburg.The...

 broke out in Europe. Although initially Britain did not actively intervene, the presence of a sizable French army near the border of the Austrian Netherlands compelled the British to send an expedition to help defend the territory of their Austrian ally in 1742. Wolfe transferred to the 12th Regiment of Foot, a British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 regiment, and set sail for Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 some months later where the British took up position in Ghent
Ghent
Ghent is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of...

. Here, Wolfe was promoted to Lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

 and made adjutant
Adjutant
Adjutant is a military rank or appointment. In some armies, including most English-speaking ones, it is an officer who assists a more senior officer, while in other armies, especially Francophone ones, it is an NCO , normally corresponding roughly to a Staff Sergeant or Warrant Officer.An Adjutant...

 of his battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

. His first year on the continent was a frustrating one as, despite rumours of a British attack on Dunkirk, they remained inactive in Flanders.

In 1743, he was joined by his younger brother, Edward, who had received a commission in the same regiment. That year the Wolfe brothers took part in an offensive launched by the British. Instead of moving southwards as expected, the British and their allies instead thrust eastwards into Southern Germany where they faced a large French army. The army came under the personal command of George II
George II of Great Britain
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Archtreasurer and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death.George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain. He was born and brought up in Northern Germany...

 but in June he appeared to have made a catastrophic mistake which left the Allies trapped against the River Main and surrounded by enemy forces in "a mousetrap
Mousetrap
A mousetrap is a specialized type of animal trap designed primarily to catch mice; however, it may also trap other small animals. Mousetraps are usually set in an indoor location where there is a suspected infestation of rodents. There are various types of mousetrap, each with its own advantages...

".

Rather than contemplate surrender, George tried to rectify the situation by launching an attack on the French positions near the village of Dettingen. Wolfe's regiment was involved in heavy fighting, as the two sides exchanged volley after volley of musket
Musket
A musket is a muzzle-loaded, smooth bore long gun, fired from the shoulder. Muskets were designed for use by infantry. A soldier armed with a musket had the designation musketman or musketeer....

 fire. His regiment had suffered the highest casualties of any of the British infantry battalions, and Wolfe had his horse shot from underneath him. Despite three French attacks the Allies managed to drive off the enemy, who fled through the village of Dettington which was then occupied by the Allies. However, George failed to adequately pursue the retreating enemy, allowing them to escape. In spite of this the Allies had successfully thwarted the French move into Germany, safeguarding the independence of Hanover
Electorate of Hanover
The Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg was the ninth Electorate of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation...

.

Wolfe's activities at Battle of Dettington, came to the attention of the Duke of Cumberland
Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland
Prince William , was a younger son of George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach, and Duke of Cumberland from 1726. He is generally best remembered for his role in putting down the Jacobite Rising at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, and as such is also known as "Butcher" Cumberland...

 who had been close to him during the battle when they came under enemy fire. A year later, he became a captain
Captain (OF-2)
The army rank of captain is a commissioned officer rank historically corresponding to command of a company of soldiers. The rank is also used by some air forces and marine forces. Today a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery...

 of the 45th Regiment of Foot
45th (Nottinghamshire) Regiment of Foot
The 45th Regiment of Foot was a British Army line infantry regiment. During the Childers Reforms it was united with the 95th Regiment of Foot to form the The Sherwood Foresters ....

. After the success of Dettington, the 1744 campaign was another frustration as the Allies forces now led by George Wade
George Wade
Field Marshal George Wade served as a British military commander and Commander-in-Chief of the Forces.-Early career:Wade, born in Kilavally, Westmeath in Ireland, was commissioned into the Earl of Bath's Regiment in 1690 and served in Flanders in 1692, during the Nine Years War, earning a...

 failed to compete their objective of capturing Lille
Lille
Lille is a city in northern France . It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country behind those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium...

, fought no major battles, and returned to winter quarters at Ghent without anything to show for their efforts. Wolfe was left devastated when his brother Edward died, probably of consumption
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

, that autumn.

Wolfe's regiment was left behind to garrison Ghent, which meant they missed the Allied defeat at the Battle of Fontenoy
Battle of Fontenoy
The Battle of Fontenoy, 11 May 1745, was a major engagement of the War of the Austrian Succession, fought between the forces of the Pragmatic Allies – comprising mainly Dutch, British, and Hanoverian troops under the nominal command of the Duke of Cumberland – and a French army under Maurice de...

 in May 1745 during which Wolfe's former regiment suffered extremely heavy casualties. Wolfe's regiment was then summoned to reinforce the main Allied army, now under the command of the Duke of Cumberland. Shortly after they had departed Ghent, the town was suddenly attacked by the French who captured it and its garrison. Having narrowly avoided becoming a French prisoner, Wolfe was now made a brigade major
Brigade Major
In the British Army, a Brigade Major was the Chief of Staff of a brigade. He held the rank of Major and was head of the brigade's "G - Operations and Intelligence" section directly and oversaw the two other branches, "A - Administration" and "Q - Quartermaster"...

.

Jacobite Rising

In October 1745, Wolfe's regiment was urgently recalled to Britain to deal with the Jacobite rising
Jacobite rising
The Jacobite Risings were a series of uprisings, rebellions, and wars in Great Britain and Ireland occurring between 1688 and 1746. The uprisings were aimed at returning James VII of Scotland and II of England, and later his descendants of the House of Stuart, to the throne after he was deposed by...

 which had broken out. In September Jacobite forces had won the Battle of Prestonpans
Battle of Prestonpans
The Battle of Prestonpans was the first significant conflict in the Jacobite Rising of 1745. The battle took place at 4 am on 21 September 1745. The Jacobite army loyal to James Francis Edward Stuart and led by his son Charles Edward Stuart defeated the government army loyal to the Hanoverian...

 and captured Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

. They were poised to march into England where they expected a mass Jacobite rebellion to break out that would topple George II
George II of Great Britain
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Archtreasurer and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death.George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain. He was born and brought up in Northern Germany...

 and his Hanoverian Dynasty and replace them with the Old Pretender 'James III
James Francis Edward Stuart
James Francis Edward, Prince of Wales was the son of the deposed James II of England...

'.

Wolfe and his regiment were initially sent to Newcastle to bolster a force commanded by General Wade to prevent a Jacobite advance along the east coast. Instead the rebels bypassed Wade's army at Newcastle, by heading down the opposite coast via Carlisle. The Jacobites reached as far as Derby
Derby
Derby , is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands region of England. It lies upon the banks of the River Derwent and is located in the south of the ceremonial county of Derbyshire. In the 2001 census, the population of the city was 233,700, whilst that of the Derby Urban Area was 229,407...

 and only a force of militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 stood between them and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. However, having encountered limited English support for their cause the Jacobites decided to withdraw and by the end of the year they were back in Scotland and government forces prepared for what they believed would be a relatively easy campaign that would crush the rebels.

Wolfe served in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 in 1746 as aide-de-camp
Aide-de-camp
An aide-de-camp is a personal assistant, secretary, or adjutant to a person of high rank, usually a senior military officer or a head of state...

 under General Henry Hawley
Henry Hawley
Lieutenant General Henry Hawley was a British Army officer who entered the army in 1694.-Early life:He saw service in the War of Spanish Succession as a captain of Erie's Foot. After Almanza he returned to England, and a few years later had become lieutenant-colonel of the 19th...

 in the campaign to defeat the Jacobite
Jacobitism
Jacobitism was the political movement in Britain dedicated to the restoration of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England, Scotland, later the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Kingdom of Ireland...

 forces of Charles Edward Stuart
Charles Edward Stuart
Prince Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie or The Young Pretender was the second Jacobite pretender to the thrones of Great Britain , and Ireland...

. In this capacity, Wolfe participated in the Battle of Falkirk
Battle of Falkirk (1746)
During the Second Jacobite Rising, the Battle of Falkirk Muir was the last noteworthy Jacobite success.-Background:...

 and the Battle of Culloden
Battle of Culloden
The Battle of Culloden was the final confrontation of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Taking place on 16 April 1746, the battle pitted the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart against an army commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, loyal to the British government...

. At Culloden, he famously refused to shoot a wounded highlander when he was ordered by the Duke of Cumberland stating that he would rather resign his post than sacrifice his honour. However, the gesture did not work, and the man was shot by Cumberland himself. It has been suggested that it may have been Hawley who gave the order rather than Cumberland. This act may have been a cause for his later popularity among the Royal Highland Fusiliers
Royal Highland Fusiliers
The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland....

, whom he would command in North America. After this he took part in the pacification of the Highlands, designed to destroy the remnants of the rebellion.

Return to the Continent

In January 1747 Wolfe returned to the Continent and the War of the Austrian Succession
War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession  – including King George's War in North America, the Anglo-Spanish War of Jenkins' Ear, and two of the three Silesian wars – involved most of the powers of Europe over the question of Maria Theresa's succession to the realms of the House of Habsburg.The...

, serving under Sir John Mordaunt. The French had taken advantage of the absence of Cumberland's British troops and had made advances in the Austrian Netherlands including the capture of Brussels
Siege of Brussels
The Siege of Brussels took place between January and February 1746 during the War of the Austrian Succession. A French army under the overall command of Maurice de Saxe besieged and captured the city of Brussels, which was then the capital of the Austrian Netherlands, from its Austrian garrison.The...

.

The major French objective in 1747 was to capture Maastricht
Maastricht
Maastricht is situated on both sides of the Meuse river in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands, on the Belgian border and near the German border...

 considered the gateway to the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

. Wolfe was part of Cumberland's army, which marched to protect the city from the advancing French force under Marshal Saxe. On 2 July Wolfe participated in the Battle of Lauffeld
Battle of Lauffeld
The Battle of Lauffeld, also known as the Battle of Lafelt or Battle of Maastricht, also Battle of Val, took place on 2 July 1747, during the French invasion of the Netherlands. It was part of the War of the Austrian Succession...

, where he was wounded and received an official commendation for services to Britain. Lauffeld was the largest battle in terms of numbers in which Wolfe fought, with the combined strength of both armies totalling over 140,000. Following their narrow victory at Lauffeld, the French captured Maastricht
Siege of Maastricht (1748)
The Siege of Maastricht took place in April-May 1748 during the War of the Austrian Succession. A French force under the overall command of Maurice de Saxe besieged and captured the Dutch barrier fortress of Maastricht in the final few months of the campaign in the Low Countries. After a relatively...

 and seized another strategic fortress at Bergen-op-Zoom. Both sides remained poised for further offensives, but an armistice
Armistice
An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

 halted the fighting.

In 1748, at just 21 years of age and with service in seven campaigns, Wolfe returned to Britain following the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle
Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)
The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle of 1748 ended the War of the Austrian Succession following a congress assembled at the Imperial Free City of Aachen—Aix-la-Chapelle in French—in the west of the Holy Roman Empire, on 24 April 1748...

 which ended the war. Under the treaty, Britain and France had agreed to exchange all captured territory and the Austrian Netherlands were returned to Austrian control.

Scottish garrison

Once home, he was posted to Scotland and garrison duty, and a year later was made a major
Major
Major is a rank of commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every military in the world.When used unhyphenated, in conjunction with no other indicator of rank, the term refers to the rank just senior to that of an Army captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel. ...

, in which rank he assumed command of the 20th Regiment, stationed at Stirling
Stirling
Stirling is a city and former ancient burgh in Scotland, and is at the heart of the wider Stirling council area. The city is clustered around a large fortress and medieval old-town beside the River Forth...

. In 1750, Wolfe was confirmed as Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...

 of the regiment.

During the eight years Wolfe remained in Scotland, he wrote military pamphlets and became proficient in French, as a result of several trips to Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. Despite struggling with bouts of ill health suspected to be tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

, he also tried to keep himself mentally fit by teaching himself Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 and mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, also Wolfe trained his body too, pushing himself to improve his swordsmanship and attending sessions where he learned about science and how to improve his leadership skills. Wolfe worked hard despite his illness and learned from many people. Wolfe had made the number of influential acquaintances during the recent war. His father, who was now a General, also actively assisted his son's career.

In 1752 Wolfe was granted extended leave, and he first went to Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

 staying in Dublin with his uncle and visiting Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

 and the site of the Battle of the Boyne
Battle of the Boyne
The Battle of the Boyne was fought in 1690 between two rival claimants of the English, Scottish and Irish thronesthe Catholic King James and the Protestant King William across the River Boyne near Drogheda on the east coast of Ireland...

. After a brief stop at his parents house in Greenwich he received permission from the Duke of Cumberland to go abroad and he crossed the Channel to France. He took in the sights of Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 including the Tuileries Gardens and visited the Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles , or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French it is the Château de Versailles....

. He was frequently entertained by the British Ambassador, Earl of Albermarle
Willem van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle
Lieutenant-General Willem Anne van Keppel, 2nd Earl of Albemarle KG, KCB, PC, ADC was a British diplomat and an American colonist....

, with whom he had served in Scotland in 1746. Albermarle arranged an audience for Wolfe with Louis XV. While in Paris Wolfe spent money on improving his French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and his fencing
Fencing
Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

 skills. He applied for further leave so he could witness a major military exercise by the French army, but he was instead urgently ordered home. He rejoined his regiment in Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

.

By 1754 Britain's declining relationship with France made a fresh war imminent and fighting broke out in North America between the two sides.

Seven Years War (1756–63)

In 1756, with the outbreak of open hostilities with France, Wolfe was promoted to Colonel. He was stationed in Canterbury
Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

, where his regiment had been posted to guard his home county of Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

 against a French invasion threat
Planned French Invasion of Britain (1759)
A French invasion of Great Britain was planned to take place in 1759 during the Seven Years' War, but due to various factors including naval defeats at the Battle of Lagos and the Battle of Quiberon Bay was never launched. The French planned to land 100,000 French soldiers in Britain to end British...

. He was extremely dispirited by news of the loss of Minorca
Siege of Minorca
The Siege of Fort St Philip took place in 1756 during the Seven Years War.- Siege :...

 in June 1756, lamenting what he saw as the lack of professionalism amongst the British forces. Despite a widespread belief that French landing was imminent, Wolfe thought that it was unlikely his men would be called into action. In spite of this, he trained them diligently and issued fighting instructions to his troops.

As the threat of invasion decreased, the regiment were marched to Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

. Despite the initial setbacks of the war in Europe and North America the British were now expected to take the offensive and Wolfe anticipated playing a major role in future operations. However, his health was beginning to decline which led to suspicions that he was suffering, as his younger brother (Edward Wolfe 1728-1744) had, from consumption
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

. Many of his letters to his parents began to assume a slightly fatalistic note in which he talked of the likelihood of an early death.

Rochefort

In 1757 Wolfe participated in the British amphibious assault
Amphibious warfare
Amphibious warfare is the use of naval firepower, logistics and strategy to project military power ashore. In previous eras it stood as the primary method of delivering troops to non-contiguous enemy-held terrain...

 on Rochefort
Rochefort, Charente-Maritime
Rochefort is a commune in southwestern France, a port on the Charente estuary. It is a sub-prefecture of the Charente-Maritime department.-History:...

, a seaport on the French Atlantic coast. A major naval descent, it was designed to capture the town, and relieve pressure on Britain's German allies who were under French attack in Northern Europe. Wolfe was selected to take part in the expedition partly because of his friendship with its commander, Sir John Mordaunt
John Mordaunt (British Army officer)
General Sir John Mordaunt, KB was a British soldier and Whig politician, the son of Lieutenant-General Harry Mordaunt and Margaret Spencer...

. In addition to his regimental duties, Wolfe also served as Quartermaster General
Quartermaster general
A Quartermaster general is the staff officer in charge of supplies for a whole army.- The United Kingdom :In the United Kingdom, the Quartermaster-General to the Forces is one of the most senior generals in the British Army...

 for the whole expedition. The force was assembled on the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...

 and after weeks of delay finally sailed on 7 September.

The attempt failed as, after capturing an island offshore, the British made no attempt to land on the mainland and press on to Rochefort and instead withdrew home. While their sudden appearance off the French coast had spread panic throughout France, it had little practical effect. Mordaunt was court-martial
Court-martial
A court-martial is a military court. A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, and, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.Most militaries maintain a court-martial system to try cases in which a breach of...

ed for his failure to attack Rochefort, although acquitted. Nonetheless, Wolfe was one of the few military leaders who had distinguished himself in the raid – having gone ashore to scout the terrain, and having constantly urged Mordaunt into action. He had at one point told the General that he could capture Rochefort if he was given just 500 men but Mordaunt refused him permission. While Wolfe was irritated by the failure, believing that they should have used the advantage of surprise and attacked and taken the town immediately, he was able to draw valuable lessons about amphibious warfare that influenced his later operations at Louisbourg and Quebec.

As a result of his actions at Rochefort, Wolfe was brought to the notice of the Prime Minister, William Pitt, the Elder
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham PC was a British Whig statesman who led Britain during the Seven Years' War...

. Pitt had determined that the best gains in the war were to be made in North America where France was vulnerable, and planned to launch an assault on French Canada
French Canada
French Canada, also known as "Lower Canada", is a term to distinguish the French Canadian population of Canada from English Canada.-Definition:...

. Pitt now decided to promote Wolfe over the heads of a number of senior officers.

Louisbourg

On 23 January 1758, James Wolfe was appointed as a Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

, and sent with Major General Jeffrey Amherst
Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst
Field Marshal Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst KCB served as an officer in the British Army and as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces.Amherst is best known as one of the victors of the French and Indian War, when he conquered Louisbourg, Quebec City and...

 to lay siege to Fortress of Louisbourg
Fortress of Louisbourg
The Fortress of Louisbourg is a national historic site and the location of a one-quarter partial reconstruction of an 18th century French fortress at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia...

 in New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 (located in present-day Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton Island is an island on the Atlantic coast of North America. It likely corresponds to the word Breton, the French demonym for Brittany....

, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

). Louisbourg stood near the mouth of the St Lawrence River and its capture was considered essential to any attack on Canada from the east. An expedition the previous year
Louisbourg Expedition (1757)
The Louisbourg Expedition was a failed British attempt to capture the French fortress of Louisbourg on Île Royale during the Seven Years' War ....

 had failed to seize the town because of a French naval build-up. For 1758 Pitt sent a much larger Royal Navy force to accompany Amherst's troops.
Wolfe distinguished himself in preparations for the assault, the initial landing and in the aggressive advance of siege batteries. The French capitulated in June of that year in the Siege of Louisbourg (1758)
Siege of Louisbourg (1758)
The Siege of Louisbourg was a pivotal battle of the Seven Years' War in 1758 which ended the French colonial era in Atlantic Canada and led directly to the loss of Quebec in 1759 and the remainder of French North America the following year.-Background:The British government realized that with the...

. He then participated in the Expulsion of the Acadians in the Golf of St. Lawrence Campaign (1758).

The British had initially planned to advance along the St Lawrence and attack Quebec that year, but the onset of winter forced them to postpone to the following year. Similarly a plan to capture New Orleans was rejected, and Wolfe returned home to England. Wolfe's part in the taking of the town brought him to the attention of the British public for the first time. The news of the victory at Louisbourg was tempered by the failure of a British force advancing towards Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 at the Battle of Carillon
Battle of Carillon
The Battle of Carillon, also known as the 1758 Battle of Ticonderoga, was fought on July 8, 1758, during the French and Indian War...

 and the death of George Howe
George Howe, 3rd Viscount Howe
George Augustus Howe, 3rd Viscount Howe was a career officer and a Brigadier General in the British Army. He was described by James Wolfe as "the best officer in the British Army"...

, a widely respected young general who Wolfe described as "the best officer in the British Army".

Appointment

As Wolfe had comported himself admirably at Louisbourg, William Pitt the Elder chose him to lead the British assault on Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

 the following year. Although Wolfe was given the local rank of major general
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

 while serving in Canada, in Europe he was still only a full colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

. Amherst had been appointed as Commander-in-Chief in North America
Commander-in-Chief, North America
The office of Commander-in-Chief, North America was a military position of the British Army. Established in 1755 in the early years of the Seven Years' War, holders of the post were generally responsible for land-based military personnel and activities in and around those parts of North America...

, and he would lead a separate and larger force that would attack Canada from the south. He insisted on the choice of his friend, the Irish
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

 officer Guy Carleton
Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester
Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, KB , known between 1776 and 1786 as Sir Guy Carleton, was an Irish-British soldier and administrator...

 as Quartermaster General or threatened to resign the command. Once this was granted, he began making preparations for his departure. Pitt was determined to once again give operations in North America top priority, as he planned to weaken France's international position by capturing their colonies.

Advance up the Saint Lawrence

Despite the large build-up of British forces in North America, the strategy of dividing the army for separate attacks on Canada meant that once Wolfe reached Quebec the French commander Louis-Joseph de Montcalm
Louis-Joseph de Montcalm
Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, Marquis de Saint-Veran was a French soldier best known as the commander of the forces in North America during the Seven Years' War .Montcalm was born near Nîmes in France to a noble family, and entered military service...

 would have a local superiority of troops having raised large numbers of Canadian militia to defend their homeland. The French had not initially expected the British to approach from the east, believing the St Lawrence River was impassable for such a large force, and had prepared to defend Quebec from the south and west. An intercepted copy of British plans gave Montcalm several weeks to improve the fortifications protecting Quebec from an amphibious attack by Wolfe.

Montcalm's goal was to prevent the British from capturing Quebec, thereby maintaining a French foothold in Canada. The French government believed a peace treaty was likely to be agreed the following year and so they directed the emphasis of their own efforts towards victory in Germany and a Planned invasion of Britain
Planned French Invasion of Britain (1759)
A French invasion of Great Britain was planned to take place in 1759 during the Seven Years' War, but due to various factors including naval defeats at the Battle of Lagos and the Battle of Quiberon Bay was never launched. The French planned to land 100,000 French soldiers in Britain to end British...

 hoping thereby to secure the exchange of captured territories. For this plan to be successful Montcalm had only to hold out until the start of winter. Wolfe had a narrow window to capture Quebec during 1759 before the St Lawrence began to freeze trapping his force.

Wolfe's army was assembled at Louisbourg. Eager to begin the campaign, after several delays, he pushed ahead with only part of his force and left orders for further arrivals to be sent on down the St Lawrence after him.

Siege

The British army laid siege
Siege
A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for "to sit". Generally speaking, siege warfare is a form of constant, low intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static...

 to the city for three months. During that time, Wolfe issued a written document, known as Wolfe's Manifesto
Wolfe's Manifesto
The British advances in 1758 into the colony of New France instilled fear into the Canadiens' hearts. The inhabitants of the French colony were "terror-stricken". Taking advantage of the situation, British General James Wolfe adopted a strategy of psychological intimidation...

, to the French-Canadian (Québécois
French-speaking Quebecer
French-speaking Quebecers are francophone residents of the Canadian province of Quebec....

) civilians, as part of his strategy of psychological intimidation. In March 1759, prior to arriving at Quebec, Wolfe had written to Amherst: "If, by accident in the river, by the enemy’s resistance, by sickness or slaughter in the army, or, from any other cause, we find that Quebec is not likely to fall into our hands (persevering however to the last moment), I propose to set the town on fire with shells, to destroy the harvest, houses and cattle, both above and below, to send off as many Canadians as possible to Europe and to leave famine and desolation behind me; but we must teach these scoundrels to make war in a more gentleman like manner." This manifesto has widely been regarded as counter-productive as it drove many neutrally-inclined inhabitants to actively resist the British, swelling the size of the militia defending to Quebec to as many as 10,000.
After an extensive yet inconclusive bombardment of the city, Wolfe initiated a failed attack north of Quebec at Beauport, where the French were securely entrenched. As the weeks wore on the chances of British success lessened, and Wolfe grew despondent. Amherst's large force advancing on Montreal had made very slow progress, ruling out the prospect of Wolfe receiving any help from him.

Battle

Wolfe then led 200 ships with 9,000 soldiers and 18,000 sailors on a very bold and risky amphibious landing at the base of the cliffs west of Quebec along the St. Lawrence River. His army, with two small cannons, scaled the cliffs early in the morning of September 13, 1759, surprising the French under the command of the Marquis de Montcalm
Louis-Joseph de Montcalm
Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Gozon, Marquis de Saint-Veran was a French soldier best known as the commander of the forces in North America during the Seven Years' War .Montcalm was born near Nîmes in France to a noble family, and entered military service...

, who thought the cliffs would be unclimbable. Faced with the possibility that the British would haul more cannons up the cliffs and knock down the city's remaining walls, the French fought the British on the Plains of Abraham
Plains of Abraham
The Plains of Abraham is a historic area within The Battlefields Park in Quebec City, Quebec, that was originally grazing land, but became famous as the site of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, which took place on 13 September 1759. Though written into the history books, housing and minor...

. They were defeated after fifteen minutes of battle, but when Wolfe began to move forward, he was shot three times, once in the arm, once in the shoulder, and finally in the chest.
Historian Francis Parkman
Francis Parkman
Francis Parkman was an American historian, best known as author of The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life and his monumental seven-volume France and England in North America. These works are still valued as history and especially as literature, although the biases of his...

 describes the death of Wolfe:

They asked him [Wolfe] if he would have a surgeon; but he shook his head, and answered that all was over with him. His eyes closed with the torpor of approaching death, and those around sustained his fainting form. Yet they could not withhold their gaze from the wild turmoil before them, and the charging ranks of their companions rushing through the line of fire and smoke.

"See how they run." one of the officers exclaimed, as the French fled in confusion before the leveled bayonets.

"Who run?" demanded Wolfe, opening his eyes like a man aroused from sleep.

"The enemy, sir," was the reply; "they give way everywhere."

"Then," said the dying general, "tell Colonel River, to cut off their retreat from the bridge. Now, God be praised, I die contented," he murmured; and, turning on his side, he calmly breathed his last breath.



The Battle of the Plains of Abraham
Battle of the Plains of Abraham
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal battle in the Seven Years' War...

 is notable for causing the deaths of the top military commander on each side: Montcalm died the next day from his wounds. Wolfe's victory at Quebec enabled an assault on the French at Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 the following year. With the fall of that city, French rule in North America, outside of Louisianna and the tiny islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
Saint Pierre and Miquelon is a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France. It is the only remnant of the former colonial empire of New France that remains under French control....

, came to an end.

Wolfe's body was returned to Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 and interred in the family vault in St Alfege Church, Greenwich alongside his father (who had died in March 1759).

Character

Wolfe was renowned by his troops for being demanding on himself and on them. Although he was prone to illness, Wolfe was an active and restless figure. Amherst reported that Wolfe seemed to be everywhere at once. There was a story that when someone in the British Court branded the young Brigadier mad, King George II
George II of Great Britain
George II was King of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Archtreasurer and Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire from 11 June 1727 until his death.George was the last British monarch born outside Great Britain. He was born and brought up in Northern Germany...

 retorted, "Mad, is he? Then I hope he will bite some of my other generals." Some biographers, including Richard Garrett have suggested Wolfe may have been a repressed homosexual, although his behavioral patterns were fairly typical of the noblemen of the time. He was once reprimanded by his father for an incident involving a very handsome young lieutenant (around early 1750s), after which he seems to have abstained from sexual activity. A cultured man, in 1759 during the Seven Years War, before the Battle of the Plains of Abraham Wolfe is said to have recited Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is a poem by Thomas Gray, completed in 1750 and first published in 1751. The poem’s origins are unknown, but it was partly inspired by Gray’s thoughts following the death of the poet Richard West in 1742. Originally titled Stanza's Wrote in a Country...

  to his officers, adding: "Gentlemen, I would rather have written that poem than take Quebec tomorrow". After his death a miniature of Katherine Lowther daugther of Robert Lowther (1681–1745) was given to Wolfe's mother and later returned to Katherine Lowther Duchess of Bolton.

Legacy

The inscription on the obelisk at Quebec City, erected to commemorate the battle on the Plains of Abraham once read: "Here Died Wolfe Victorious." Now it simply reads: "Here Died Wolfe."
Wolfe's defeat of the French led to the British capture of the New France
New France
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763...

 department of Canada
Canada, New France
Canada was the name of the French colony that once stretched along the St. Lawrence River; the other colonies of New France were Acadia, Louisiana and Newfoundland. Canada, the most developed colony of New France, was divided into three districts, each with its own government: Quebec,...

, and his "hero's death" made him a legend in his homeland. The Wolfe legend led to the famous painting The Death of General Wolfe
The Death of General Wolfe
The Death of General Wolfe is a well-known 1770 painting by Anglo-American artist Benjamin West depicting the death of British General James Wolfe during the 1759 Battle of Quebec of the Seven Years' War. It is an oil on canvas of the Enlightenment period...

 by Benjamin West
Benjamin West
Benjamin West, RA was an Anglo-American painter of historical scenes around and after the time of the American War of Independence...

, the Anglo-American folk ballad "Brave Wolfe" (sometimes known as "Bold Wolfe"), and the opening line of the patriotic Canadian anthem, "The Maple Leaf Forever
The Maple Leaf Forever
"The Maple Leaf Forever" is a Canadian song written by Alexander Muir in 1867, the year of Canada's Confederation. He wrote the work after serving with The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada in the Battle of Ridgeway against the Fenians in 1866....

".

The site where Wolfe purportedly fell is marked by a column surmounted by a helmet and sword. An inscription at its base reads, in French and English, "Here died Wolfe - September 13th, 1759." It replaces a large stone which had been placed there by British troops to mark the spot. There is a memorial to Wolfe in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 by Joseph Wilton
Joseph Wilton
Joseph Wilton was an English sculptor and one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768 .Born to a wealthy family in London, Wilton trained in Flanders, Paris, Rome and Florence...

. There is an oil painting "Placing the Canadian Colours on Wolfe's Monument in Westminster Abbey" by Emily Warren
Emily Warren
Emily Mary Bibbens Warren was a British Canadian artist and illustrator. She worked in ink, watercolour, oil, gouache, and graphite. Her favourite subjects included gardens, landscape, and in interiors and exteriors of buildings...

 at the National Gallery of Canada
National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada , located in the capital city Ottawa, Ontario, is one of Canada's premier art galleries.The Gallery is now housed in a glass and granite building on Sussex Drive with a notable view of the Canadian Parliament buildings on Parliament Hill. The acclaimed structure was...

.

A statue of Wolfe overlooks the Royal Naval College in Greenwich. A statue also graces the green in his native Westerham
Westerham
Westerham is a town and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, in South East England with 5,000 people. The parish is south of the North Downs, ten miles west of Sevenoaks. It covers 5800 acres . It is recorded as early as the 9th century, and was mentioned in the Domesday Book in a...

, Kent, alongside one of that village's other famous resident, Sir Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

. At Stowe Landscape Gardens in Buckinghamshire there is an obelisk, known as Wolfe's obelisk, built by the family that owned Stowe as Wolfe spent his last night in England at the mansion. Wolfe is buried under the Church of St Alfege, Greenwich, where there are four memorials to him: a replica of his coffin plate in the floor; The Death of Wolfe, a painting completed in 1762 by Edward Peary; a wall tablet; and a stained glass window. In addition the local primary school is named after him.

In 1761, as a perpetual memorial to Wolfe, George Warde
George Warde
-Military career:Born the second son of John Warde of Squerryes Court in Westerham, Warde became a Colonel in the Royal Horse Guards. In 1773 he moved on becoming became Colonel of the 14th Dragoons...

, a friend of Wolfe's from boyhood, instituted the Wolfe Society, which to this day meets annually in Westerham
Westerham
Westerham is a town and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, in South East England with 5,000 people. The parish is south of the North Downs, ten miles west of Sevenoaks. It covers 5800 acres . It is recorded as early as the 9th century, and was mentioned in the Domesday Book in a...

 for the Wolfe Dinner to his "Pious and Immortal Memory".

There are several institutions, localities, thoroughfares, and landforms named in honour of him in Canada. Significant monuments to Wolfe in Canada exist on the Plains of Abraham where he fell, and near Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill , colloquially known as The Hill, is an area of Crown land on the southern banks of the Ottawa River in downtown Ottawa, Ontario. Its Gothic revival suite of buildingsthe parliament buildings serves as the home of the Parliament of Canada and contains a number of architectural...

 in Ottawa
Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

. Ontario Governor John Graves Simcoe
John Graves Simcoe
John Graves Simcoe was a British army officer and the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada from 1791–1796. Then frontier, this was modern-day southern Ontario and the watersheds of Georgian Bay and Lake Superior...

 named Wolfe Island
Wolfe Island (Ontario)
Wolfe Island is an island located at the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River in Lake Ontario near Kingston, Ontario. Wolfe Island is part of Frontenac County, Ontario. Together with Howe Island, Simcoe Island, and Hickory Island forms the Township of Frontenac Islands. It is the largest of the...

, an island in Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded on the north and southwest by the Canadian province of Ontario, and on the south by the American state of New York. Ontario, Canada's most populous province, was named for the lake. In the Wyandot language, ontarío means...

 and the Saint Lawrence River off the coast of Kingston
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario is a Canadian city located in Eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. Originally a First Nations settlement called "Katarowki," , growing European exploration in the 17th Century made it an important trading post...

, near the Royal Military College of Canada
Royal Military College of Canada
The Royal Military College of Canada, RMC, or RMCC , is the military academy of the Canadian Forces, and is a degree-granting university. RMC was established in 1876. RMC is the only federal institution in Canada with degree granting powers...

, in Wolfe's honour in 1792. On 13 September 2009, the Wolfe Island Historical Society led celebrations on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of James Wolfe's victory at Quebec. A life-size statue in Wolfe's likeness is to be sculpted.

A senior girls house at the Duke of York's Royal Military School
Duke of York's Royal Military School
The Duke of York’s Royal Military School, more commonly called the Duke of York’s, is a co-educational Academy with military traditions in Dover, Kent, open to pupils whose parents are serving or have served in any branch of the United Kingdom armed forces for a minimum of 4 years...

 is named after Wolfe, where all houses are named after prominent figures of the military. There is a James Wolfe school for children aged 5–11 down the hill from his house in Greenwich (in Chesterfield Walk, which is just east of General Wolfe Road).

Artifacts and relics owned by Wolfe are held at museums in both Canada and England, although some have mainly legendary association. Wolfe's cloak worn at Louisbourg, Quebec and at the Plains of Abraham is part of the British Royal Collection
Royal Collection
The Royal Collection is the art collection of the British Royal Family. It is property of the monarch as sovereign, but is held in trust for her successors and the nation. It contains over 7,000 paintings, 40,000 watercolours and drawings, and about 150,000 old master prints, as well as historical...

. In 2008 it was loaned to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a Canadian maritime museum located in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia.The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a member institution of the Nova Scotia Museum and is the oldest and largest maritime museum in Canada with a collection of over 30,000 artifacts...

 in Halifax for an exhibit on the Siege of Louisbourg and in 2009 was loaned to the Army Museum at the Halifax Citadel where it remains on display.

The town of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
Wolfeboro is a town in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 6,269 at the 2010 census. A venerable resort area situated beside Lake Winnipesaukee, Wolfeboro includes the village of Wolfeboro Falls...

 is named in honour of Wolfe.

External links

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