Mary Congalton

Mary was an Edinburgh doctor's daughter whose husband was in the East India Company Civil Service. Her immediate family were all members of the medical profession. Her father was a junior branch of the house of Congalton, which had lived on the same East Lothian estate for eighteen generations before disintegrating during the eighteenth century.

- 29 November 1849
Charles Congalton, Physician/ Surgeon, son of Dr Francis Congalton and Rosina Brown. Francis was also a surgeon in Edinburgh and son of Charles Congalton of that ilk who sold the estate. Charles was a Jacobite whom Alexander Carlyle met in Leiden in the years following the '45, and whom he described affectionately in his memoirs. Carlyle said he was 'one of the best young men I have ever known', loyal to his Jacobite principles and without guile: 'a more naif and ingenuous soul never was born', and easily teased. Ten years later Carlyle met him again in London:
I said to him one day, " Charlie, how do you like the English, now that you have seen them twice for two or three months?" "I cannot answer your question," replied he, "for I am not acquainted with any of them." " What! not acquainted!" said I. " Yes," says he, " I have seen half a dozen of them calling on Sir David, but I never enter into conversation with the John Bulls, for, to tell you the truth, I don't yet well understand what they say."
Charles was in London as physician to Sir David Kinloch. At one merry dinner to which Carlyle was invited,
An incident contributed not a little to our mirth... Charles Congalton, who happened to sit next to Sir David, our preses, it was observed, never filled above a thimbleful in his glass, when being asked the reason, he said he could not drink any of their London port, there was such a drawiny-togetherness in it. "Ring the bell, Charlie," said our preses, "and we will learn if we can't get a bottle of claret for you." The bell was rung, the claret came, and was pronounced very good by the Baronet and his doctor. The whole company soon joined in that liquor, without which no Scotch gentleman in those days could be exhilarated. (5)
Agnes Mackintosh, daughter of John Macintosh, surgeon in the navy. Mrs Congalton, relict of Dr Congalton 1723-1818 was one of the first people to be buried by Daniel Sandford in St John's.
41 George Street, but they only appear to have lived in Edinburgh until about 1807.
Assessed taxes 1811
In 1811 Dr Congalton still lived at the Grange and had 16 windows, a rental value of £30 and 1 male servant.
She outlived her husband and died at Naples.
Chapel connection
1806 (marriage)
Married on
1 November 1806
Alexander Ramsay
Agnes, (m.1826 Henry Harvey Esq of St Audries, Somerset. The residual legatees in Mary's will were 'my two dear grand-children Mary Elizabeth Harvey and Agnes Rosena Harvey daughters of Henry Harvey of Saint Andrews Esquire and of the deceased Anges Ramsay his wife' (6))
Magdalene Murray (see the explanation on her page). Amelia Luthman was also married from West Grange. There is a connection to Archibald Primrose: When she died Mary was owed £700 by Miss Stair Primrose daughter of Sir Archibald Primrose subject to the payment of an annuity of £20 to the Misses Primrose. (4)


  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory
  3. Assessed taxes for the Burgh of Edinburgh year ending at Whitsunday 1811, National Archives of Scotland E327/51
  4. Will National Archives of Scotland SC70/4/8/915
  5. Alexander Carlyle, Autobiography of the Rev. Alexander Carlyle, Minister of Inveresk, (Cambridge, University Press, 1860) online accessed 4 July 2011
  6. Mary Congalton's Will, National Archives of Scotland SC70/4/8/915

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