from which no advantage could reasonably be expected, considering how unadvisedly it was set on foot by those who nursed it up upon false suggestions and representations; besides, it occasioned the drawing from our army in Flanders, under command of the Duke of Marlborough, at least six thousand men, where, instead of beating up and down at sea, they might have done their country service. There may be added to the misfortunes abroad an unlucky accident which happened at their return; for a ship of the squadron, the Edgar of 70 guns—Walker's flagship—had not been many days at anchor at Spithead ere, by what cause is unknown, she blew up and all the men which were on board her perished’ (ib. p. 781). When the Edgar blew up, Walker was happily on shore; but—among other things—all his papers were still on board and were lost, a circumstance which afterwards caused him much trouble. On 14 March 1711–12 he was appointed commander-in-chief at Jamaica, and sailed finally from Plymouth on 30 April with the small squadron and a convoy of a hundred merchant ships. The command was uneventful, and is mainly important as showing that nothing in the conduct of the expedition to the St. Lawrence was considered by the admiralty as prejudicial to Walker's character as an officer. On the peace he was ordered to England, and arrived off Dover on 26 May 1713.
Shortly after the accession of George I Walker was called on by the admiralty to furnish them with an account of the Canada expedition. He replied that they had his official letters written at the time, that all his journals and other papers had been lost in the Edgar, and that any account he could write would be necessarily less perfect than what they already had. He was told that he must make out the best account he could, and was occupied with this when, apparently in April 1715, he received notice from his attorney that his half-pay had been stopped. His name had, in fact, been removed from the list of admirals; not probably, as he then and many others since have believed, for imputed misconduct in the Canada expedition, but—as happened also to many others [cf. Hardt, Sir Thomas; Hosier, Francis]—on suspicion of Jacobitism; the more so as the Canada expedition was certainly intended at the time as a blow to the Marlborough power. Walker, in disgust, left the country and settled in South Carolina as a planter. In a few years, however, he returned to England, and in 1720 published ‘A Journal, or Full Account of the late Expedition to Canada’ (London, 8vo), as a justification of himself against the statements that had been busily circulated.
After this he seems to have resided abroad and in Ireland. In or about 1725 Thomas Lediard [q. v.] was well acquainted with him in Hamburg and Hanover. ‘I found him,’ he says, ‘a gentleman of letters, good understanding, ready wit, and agreeable conversation; and withal the most abstemious man living; for I never saw or heard that he drank anything but water, or eat anything but vegetables’ (Lediard, p. 855). He died in Dublin, of apoplexy, in 1728. He was twice married, and left issue, by the second wife, one daughter, Margaret, who died unmarried about 1777.
[The Memoir in Charnock's Biogr. Nav. ii. 455, is very imperfect, and in many respects inaccurate. The account of his official career here given is taken from the List Books, the Commission and Warrant Books, his own Letters (Captains' Letters, W.), in the Public Record Office, from Burchett's Transactions at Sea, Lediard's Naval Hist., and his own journal of the expedition to Canada. The history of his family is given in Gent. Mag. 1824, ii. 38; a note in Notes and Queries, 8th ser. ii. 373, which differs from this in some details, seems less to be depended on; as, among other things, the writer did not know the correct spelling of the maiden name of Walker's mother. In the British Museum Catalogue a translation from the Latin of Cornelius Gallus called ‘Elegies of Old Age’ (London, 1688, 8vo) is doubtfully attributed to Walker (cf. Watt's Bibl. Brit.); the attribution seems highly improbable.]
WALKER, JAMES (1748–1808?), mezzotint engraver, son of a captain in the merchant service, was born in 1748. He became a pupil of Valentine Green [q. v.], but not in his fifteenth year, as has been alleged, for in 1763 Green himself had not begun to engrave in mezzotint. Walker's earliest published plate bears the date 2 July 1780. During the following three years he published a number of good portraits after Romney and others, some domestic scenes, ‘The Spell,’ and ‘The Village Doctress,’ after Northcote; a scene from ‘Cymbeline,’ after Penny. In 1784 he went to St. Petersburg, being appointed engraver to the Empress Catharine II. He remained in Russia till 1802, engraving numerous portraits of the imperial family and of the Russian aristocracy, as well as pictures by the old masters in the imperial collection. Walker's appointment as court engraver was renewed by the Emperor Alexander I, and he was a member of the Imperial Academy