James Skeoch was appointed to the position of Assistant Surgeon in the Royal Navy on 11 August 1813. He was appointed assistant surgeon on the Eurydice in 1818 and the Severn in 1820.
Voyage of Discovery
In 1820 he accompanied Sir W. Edward Parry on a second voyage for the discovery of a north-west passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific and is mentioned several times in Parry's account of the voyage.
He was promoted to the position of Surgeon, Royal Navy in January 1824, and in this year he was appointed surgeon to the Algernine. 
In 1828 he was employed as Surgeon Superintendent on the convict ship Bengal Merchant, arriving in in Van Diemen's Land on 10 August 1828.
He returned to England on the Henry Wellesley departing Sydney in March 1829.