Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GAMBIER, James, admiral, born in the Bahama islands, 13 October, 1756; died in Iver, near Uxbridge, England, 19 April, 1833. His ancestors were French Protestants, who were expatriated by the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and his father was lieutenant governor of the Bahamas. James entered the navy at an early age and obtained the rank of post-captain in 1778. He commanded the frigate " Raleigh " and was engaged in the reduction of Charleston, South Carolina, in 1780. In the following year he aided in repelling the French attack upon Jersey. He was appointed to command the "Defence," of 74 guns, in 1798, and aided Lord Howe against the French fleet, which was commanded by Villaret de Joyeuse. The "Defence" was the first to break through the enemy's line in the engagement, which took place on 1 June, 1794. He was advanced to the rank of rear admiral in 1795, of vice-admiral in 1799, and was third in command of the channel fleet in 1801. In 1802 he was appointed to be the governor of Newfoundland. Having been raised to the rank of full admiral in 1805, he commanded the fleet during the three days' bombardment of Copenhagen in September, 1807. He captured the Danish forces, and in return for his services was made a baron and offered a pension, which he declined, in 1808 he was appointed to command the channel fleet, and prepared a code of signals and general instructions for the discipline of the navy. He attacked the French squadron in Aix roads in 1809 and burned five of its ships. In consequence of a disagreement with Lord Cochrane, who had charge of the British fire-ships, Lord Gambler requested a court-martial, by which he was acquitted. In 1814 he was placed at the head of the commissioners to negotiate a treaty with the United States, which was concluded at Ghent, 24 December 1814. Subsequently he lived in retirement, received the grand cross of the Bath in 1815, and was made admiral of the fleet on the accession of William IV.
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