Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
January 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


James Chevalier de Johnstone


Johnstone, James, Chevalier de (1719-1800?), soldier, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1719, the son of James Johnstone, a merchant. He took part in the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, and was an aide-de-camp of Prince Charles Edward Stewart. In 1746 he escaped to Paris, and in 1750 he entered the French army. From 1752 to 1758 he was stationed at Louisbourg, and in 1758 he escaped to Canada and became aide-de-camp, first of Lévis, and then of Montcalm. He was present at the battle of the Plains of Abraham ; and after the capitulation of Montreal was allowed by Murray to return to France, his real nationality being generously ignored: He obtained a pension from the French government; but this was stopped at the outbreak of the French revolution, and in his last days he was reduced to poverty. He died about 1800, but the exact date is not known. In 1762 he was created a chevalier of St. Louis. He left behind him in manuscript his memoirs of the rebellion of 1745 and of the campaign in Canada ; and these were published, in translation, under the title Memoirs of the rebellion in 1745-46 (London, 1820), and under the title Memoirs of the chevalier de Johnstone (Aberdeen, 1870-1). Three manuscripts dealing with the Seven Years' War in Canada, attributed to Johnstone, have been published in the Historical documents of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, 2nd series (Quebec, 1868), and his Memoirs have been published in the 9th series (Quebec, 1915). See P. B. Casgrain, Les Mémoires de Chevalier Johnstone ( Bull. rech. hist ., 1905), and Hon, E. Fabre Surveyer, Le Chevalier Johnstone (Transactions of the Franco-Scottish Society, vol. viii, Edinburgh, 1935).

Source : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. III, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 396p., p. 306.

© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College