James Fea VI was the eldest son of James Fea V of Clestrain and Barbara Traill of Elsness, although not their eldest child. He is the most well known of the Feas as a result of the capture of the pirate, John Gow , on the Calf of Eday in 1725.
His date of birth is not known but it was around 1693. He studied in Edinburgh for several years as well as in Paris and Holland, returning to Orkney in the Spring of 1717. It may have been in Paris that he picked up his Jacobite sympathies, which were to lead to so much trouble.
He married Janet Buchanan, almost certainly on 24th August 1720. She appears to have been no more than eleven years of age. This added the Buchanan property, including Sound in Shapinsay and Carrick in Eday to the Fea estates. Sound was burned to the ground in reprisal following the defeat of the Jacobite uprising of 1745.
He took at prominent position in the dispute with the Earl of Morton over the standard weights, which is known as the Pundlar Process. There was much loss of the family estate through litigation on this matter and also due to actions arising out of the reward from the capture of John Gow.
Much of his time was spent in either Edinburgh or London. He delegated much of the management of his estate. He was certainly clever and an ambitious personality and appears to have had an some measure of charity from efforts made to provide schooling in Eday .
in London on 7th May 1756. Janet Buchanan died later that
year. They had no children and the estate passed to James's brother,
John Fea VII of Clestrain.