James Verling was born in Cobh on 27th February 1787 and was the second son of John Verling and Eleanor Roache.
He began his medical career in Dublin, and on the 12th December 1809 he graduated as a doctor of medicine at Edinburgh University at the age of 23.
He got a commission in the army on 25th January 1810 and was stationed at Ballincollig. He later was appointed to the Royal Artillery and was sent to Portugal for the Peninsular War. He was next promoted to surgeon and was ordered to St Helena.
On the 8th August 1815 he sailed on the “Northumberland” as it carried Napoleon into exile. On St. Helena he was appointed Surgeon to Napoleon.
He left St. Helena on 25th April 1820 and served in Malta, the Ionian Islands and then in Nova Scotia. Promoted up the ranks he became Inspector General in 1854. On retirement he returned to Cobh and resided in Bella Vista where he died on 1st January 1858.