James Patton was appointed Assistant-Surgeon on 8 October 1811. He was appointed Assistant-Surgeon to the Daunemark in 1815  He was appointed Assistant-Surgeon to the Tartar in 1819
He was promoted to Surgeon in 1820.
James Patton was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on two convict ship voyages to Australia:
Persian to VDL in 1827.
He was originally appointed surgeon to the female convict ship Harmony in 1827, however because of the death of the surgeon appointed to the Persian he transferred to that ship. The Persian departed the Downs on 14th April and arrived in Van Diemen's Land on 5th August 1827 with 66 female prisoners;
He was next appointed to the Eliza in 1828. The Eliza departed England on 29th June 1828 and arrived in Port Jackson on 18 November 1828.