Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Innes, Lewis

INNES, LEWIS (1651–1738), principal of the Scots College in Paris, born at Walkerdales, in the Enzie of Banff, in 1651, was the eldest son of James Innes, wadsetter, of Drumgask in the parish of Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, by his wife, Jane Robertson, daughter of a merchant in Aberdeen. The family of Drumgask was descended from the Inneses of Drainie in the county of Moray. Lewis's father held Drumgask in mortgage from the Earl of Aboyne, but it afterwards became the irredeemable property of the family. Lewis studied for the Roman catholic priesthood at Paris, and on the death of Robert Barclay in February 1682 he was appointed principal of the Scots College there. Along with his brother, Thomas Innes [q. v.], he devoted himself to the preservation and arrangement of the records in the college library. He took a conspicuous part in the proceedings connected with the vindication of the authenticity of the famous charter which established the legitimacy of King Robert III. He carried this charter to St. Germains, where it was shown to James II and the nobility and gentry of his court. Afterwards he submitted it to an examination by the most famous antiquaries of France, including Renandot, Baluze, Mabillon, and Ruinart, in the presence of several of the Scottish nobility and gentry, at a solemn assembly held in the abbey of St. Germain-des-Près, on 26 May 1694. The document was printed by him, under the title of ‘Charta authentica Roberti Seneschalli Scotiæ; ex Archivio Collegii Scotorum Parisiensis edita,’ Paris, 1695, 4to. Innes is said to have been one of five who acted as a cabinet council to James II at St. Germains on the king's return from Ireland in 1690. On 11 Nov. 1701 he was admitted almoner to the queen-mother, Mary of Este, an office he had previously held while she was queen-consort. On 23 Dec. 1713 he was admitted almoner to her son, the Chevalier de St. George, resigned the office of principal of the Scots College in the same year, and in 1714 was appointed lord almoner. He appears to have acted as a sort of confidential secretary, and repeated allusions to him are scattered through the printed volume of the ‘Stuart Papers.’ In the beginning of 1718 he was set aside from his office, but within a few years he was again in confidential communication with his master. He was trusted in the important business of securing Bishop Atterbury's papers, which after the bishop's death were deposited in the Scots College. He died at Paris on 23 Jan. 1738.

Innes probably compiled ‘The Life of James II, King of England, &c., collected out of Memoirs writ of his own hand,’ 2 vols., London, 1816, 4to, edited by James Stanier Clarke [q. v.], who attributed the authorship to the younger brother, Thomas Innes. It is certain that the original memoirs written by James II were deposited in the Scots College under the special care of Lewis Innes [see under James II, infra].

[Memoirs by George Grub, LL.D., prefixed to Thomas Innes's Hist. of Scotland, 1853, and his Critical Essay on the Ancient Inhabitants of Scotland, 1879; Miscellany of the Spalding Club, ii. 418; Life of James II (Clarke), pref. p. xix; Chalmers's Life of Ruddiman, p. 201; Stothert's Catholic Mission in Scotland, pp. 248, 249; Michel's Les Écossais en France, ii. 303, 319, 328 n., 531.]

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