James was born c1766 Solihull, Warwickshire, England and enlisted into the NSW Corps in 1789 in England, he arrived in NSW aboard the Surprize in 1790. He first arrived on Norfolk Island aboard HM Supply in Apr 1791.
He is not recorded in the Norfolk Island victualling book, 1792-1796. But mostly returned to NSW sometime in the late 1790s. He returned to Norfolk Island James most likely aboard the Hunter in Jul 1800 with Joseph Foveaux NSW Corps Company. James served on Norfolk Island until his return to NSW aboard HMS Buffalo in Oct 1805 and was appointed to Parramatta.
In April 1810 he was transferred to the Veterans Company. He married Rosetta Harris (Experiment 1804) in May 1810.
By 1822 Rosetta had received her Absolute Pardon and James Capel was now a Corporal living at Windsor. From 1825 – 1828 James Capey was a pensioner at Parramatta. James Capey attached to the NSW Old Veterans, died Dec 1829, age 63 years. He was buried 22 Dec 1929 St Johns Parramatta. Rosetta Capey was also buried at St Johns Parramatta in August 1834