James Stirling (1791)
- Category : Travel-Explorer
- Type : PE
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Four Ways 4
Scottish naval officer, an Admiral, and founder of Western Australia.
A member of one of Scotland's oldest families, he was founder and Governor of the Swan River Colony.
Stirling came from a large family and was the fifth son and the eighth of the fifteen children. At age 12 he joined the Navy under the patronage of an uncle. With his crewmates and uncle he sailed to the West Indies and beyond, transferring from ship to ship. By August 1809, now 18, he was promoted to lieutenant. He received his first command on February 27, 1812 and saw action beleaguering forts in the American states.
He left the Navy in 1818 after Napoleon's defeat. He traveled in high social circles and married Ellen Mangles, whose family was quite wealthy, on September 3, 1823. The couple would have five sons and six daughters. In April 1826 he was asked to take command of a ship destined for the Australian colonies. On arrival, he went inland and was granted 2500 acres of land. He founded the Swan River settlement and was its administrator from June 1829 until August 1832.
In 1831 he was given the official title of Governor. He returned to England in 1832 and was knighted. Returning to Australia, he resumed his post as Governor in August 1834 and remained until December 1838. Although he had stepped down from a government role, he remained instrumental in settling the colony, bringing in other settlers, dealing with the Aboriginal native peoples, and inspiring trade.
In July 1851 he was promoted rear admiral and next year served at the Admiralty. He became commander-in-chief of the naval forces in China and the East Indies from January 1854 to February 1856, His youngest son was killed in the Indian mutiny in 1857. In August of that year, he himself was promoted to vice-admiral. In November 1862, Stirling was promoted to admiral.
He died at Guildford in Surrey, England on April 22, 1865.