Major (later Major-General) James Wolfe, 1750 (c)
Miniature, Indian ink and pencil on paper, by James Ferguson (1710-1776), 1750 (c).
James Wolfe (1727-1759) came from a family of professional soldiers and was a rising star of the British Army. Wolfe fought at the Battles of Dettingen (1743) and Culloden (1746) but it was his role in the campaign in North America during the Seven Years War (1756-1763) that raised him to the level of national hero.
In 1759, although still only 32, Wolfe was appointed to command the British expedition against the French fortress of Quebec. In a battle fought just outside the city, Wolfe's army won a stunning victory over the French. It led to the fall of Quebec and marked the beginning of the end of French control of Canada.
Wolfe was mortally wounded early on in the battle, and did not live to celebrate his victory. He became a legend - a charismatic young soldier who died heroically in action at the moment of his triumph.
The miniature belonged to Robert Monckton (1726-1782) and was passed down through his family.
NAM Accession Number
Gift from the Society of Friends of the National Army Museum.
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Study collection
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