James' mother is a former chambermaid, Gwynneth Fairbairn. She has been accepted by the family and worked as a Lady-in-Waiting to Lady Margeret Umbridge while she still lived. James has been raised by his grandfather and late grandmother, being prepared to inherit Westgate.
From an early age, James has been training in the art of battle and is a proficient swordsman. For his age, he has an intimidating aura due to his size and piercing stare - most would mistake him for a man ten years his senior. He has a strong physique from regular exercise, training, and his pastime of climbing Westgate's cliffs.
He knows that if his grandfather takes a wife now and she bears a child, he may lose his inheritance.