Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Inglis, John (1763-1834)

INGLIS, JOHN, D.D. (1763–1834), Scottish divine, born in 1763, was the youngest son of Harry Inglis, M.A., minister of Forteviot, Perthshire. He graduated at the university of Edinburgh, studying divinity under the Rev. Dr. Hunter, and completed a distinguished academical course in 1783. He was ordained as minister of Tibbermore, Perthshire, on 20 July 1786. He took an active share in presbyterial administration, and early showed his ability as an ecclesiastical politician. On 3 July 1799 he was presented by the town council of Edinburgh to the Old Greyfriars Church as proximate successor to Principal Robertson the historian. The degree of doctor of divinity was conferred upon him by the university of Edinburgh in March 1804, and he presided as moderator of the general assembly held in that year. He was appointed one of the deans of the Chapel Royal by George III in February 1810, and was continued in the office by William IV. He died on 2 Jan. 1834. Inglis married, in 1798, Maria Moxham Passmore, daughter of Abraham Passmore, of Rollefarm, Devonshire, and had four sons and one daughter. The youngest son, John, who became lord justice-general of Scotland, is separately noticed.

Inglis's name is principally associated with his scheme for the evangelisation of India. Through his efforts a committee was appointed for this purpose by the general assembly on 27 May 1824, and it was largely owing to his perseverance, tact, and energy that the scheme was successfully carried out. As a preacher he was too profound and argumentative to catch the popular ear, and his influence was greater in the church courts than in the pulpit. His principal works, all published in Edinburgh, were, besides four single sermons, 1803–26: 1. ‘An Examination of Mr. Dugald Stewart's Pamphlet relative to the election of a Mathematical Professor,’ 1805. 2. ‘Reply to Professor Playfair's Letter to the Author,’ 1806. 3. ‘A Vindication of Christian Faith,’ 1830. 4. ‘A Vindication of Ecclesiastical Establishments,’ 1833. 5. Account of Tibbermore in Sinclair's ‘Statistical Account.’

A portrait is in the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland.

[Hew Scott's Fasti, i. 44, iv. 668; Cockburn's Memoirs, p. 232.]

A. H. M.