John Inglis

Whereas some of this group were members of the Scottish gentry who found themselves impoverished in the new world of trade, and were forced to cross the world to seek their fortunes, John Inglis' family had already done this in the eighteenth century. His grandfather had gone abroad, and father moved back to Scotland and acquired old family estates near Edinburgh, which he passed on to his son. Thanks to this inheritance, John was able to live as the bad-tempered but successful laird of Redhall, rather than struggling in his profession of tongue-tied advocate.

Lived
14 May 1783 - 1847
Origin
Redhall
Father
Vice Admiral John Inglis of Auchendinny and Redhall, 1743-1807. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where his father had gone from Scotland and become a successful merchant. Admiral John inherited Redhall from another branch of the Inglises, bringing the wealth he had gained in naval prizes. He was one of the jury in the Thomas Muir sedition trial, and scrupled to take part 'on account of his being a servant of the government; and as the crime laid to the charge of the pannel was an offence particularly against government, he doubted whether such a circumstance would be doing Mr Muir complete justice.' The judge brushed his scruple aside. (5 p.150)
Mother
Barbara Inglis d.1820, youngest of three co-heiresses of Auchindinny and Langbyres. 'a kind-hearted woman with a strong religious bias which her daughters inherited'. (5 p.138) While her husband had returned to active service in the 1790s, she planted Redhall with oaks, scotch firs, larches ash and elms, and started peach, apricot, pear and cherry trees. (5 p.172)
Estate
Redhall
Profession
He became an advocate in 1805 but appears to have been entirely unsuccessful. 'To the end of his days he was quite unable to make a speech under any circumstances, and under pressure of the slightest excitement became utterly incoherent.' He appears to have earned a total of five guineas in fees before he gave up his attempt at active practice in 1818. (5 p.180)
Political Views
Tory. He considered the Union Canal 'very injurious to proprietors of land near Edinburgh, and particularly to those whose ground it passes through,' but when the Canal Company obtained their Act of Parliament he obtained a good price for te and acquired by them, and took shares in the company. He subscribed to Midlothian Tory party funds. Wen the Corn Laws were repealed, the subject was discussed in the drawing room before dinner at Redhall, and when the guests reached the dining room and there was a hush for grace, the laird exclaimed, 'the damned rascals!' (5 p.192)
Religious Views
In 1836 the scheme for enlarging Colinton Church upset John Inglis consideraly, because it would be necessary to cut off a small piece of the Redhall seat. He wote indignantly to the minister, 'You sem to press strongly on my consideration that the duties of an elder call upon me to sacrifice my rights as an Heritor when these come into competition. This doctrine differs so very much from any ideas I ever formed of the duties attached to the office of elder as to determine me to give in my resignation of that office, which I now beg leave to do.' (5 p.190) He subcribed £10 for Roslin Chapel (5 p.192)
Assessed taxes 1811
His mother Mrs Inglis of Redhall was assessed for taxes in 1812. The house had 38 windows and a rental value of £50. The household had three male servants, a four wheel carriage bearing a coat of arms, two dogs (an 11s 6d one and a £1 3s one). and four horses (one 'for own use', two 'horses/mules' and one 'horse exempted').
Story
'He had no literary or artistic tastes, and his only vehicle of instruction was the Edinburgh Advertiser, the reading of which was a solemn rite, not to be lightly interrupted. He had an irritable temper, and an exaggerated idea of his position of Laird of Redhall... In spite of his failings he had the power of inspiring affection, especially with young people, probably because he as a kind, almost soft-hearted man... any love-affair or other romance interested him keenly.' (5 p.179-180)
Chapel connection
1815 (wedding)
Married on
30 July 1815
Spouse
1. Robert Johnstone Brown, 2. in 1828 Maria Monro, daughter of Dr Alexander Monro Tertius.
Children
Two sons and three daughters by his second wife
Relations
His father's sister Mary married a wealthy Jamaica planter Captain Julines Hering, some of whose estates were acquired from Susan Beckford's father, William Beckford of Fonthill, whose maternal grandfather was Hering's great uncle. (5 p.73) A second cousin, Katherine Inglis, married George Cadell's uncle William Cadell of Banton: William Cadell was one of the tutors of John Inglis' younger siblings after his father's death. (5 p.175)

Sources

  1. Registers of Charlotte Chapel (NAS CH12/3)
  2. Edinburgh Post Office Directory 1818
  3. Assessed taxes for the Burgh of Edinburgh year ending at Whitsunday 1811, National Archives of Scotland E327/51
  4. Peter Beauclerk Dewar, Burke's Landed Gentry of Great Britain: The Kingdom in Scotland 19th edition (Burke's Peerage and Gentry, London 2001) p.707
  5. John Alexander Inglis, The family of Inglis of Auchendinny and Redhall (Edinburgh, T and A Constable, 1914)

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