Inglis, John Eardley Wilmot (DNB00)

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INGLIS, Sir JOHN EARDLEY WILMOT (1814–1862), defender of Lucknow, born in Nova Scotia 15 Nov. 1814, was son of John Inglis, D.D., third bishop of Nova Scotia, and his wife, the daughter of Thomas Cochrane, member of the council of Nova Scotia. Charles Inglis, D.D. [q. v.], first bishop of that colony, was his grandfather. On 2 Aug. 1833 he was appointed ensign by purchase in the 32nd foot (now 1st Cornwall light infantry), in which all his regimental service was passed. He became lieutenant in 1839, captain in 1843, major in 1848, brevet lieutenant-colonel in 1849, regimental lieutenant-colonel 20 Feb. 1855, brevet-colonel 5 June 1855. He served with the 32nd during the insurrection in Canada in 1837, including the actions at St. Denis and St. Eustache; in the Punjâb war of 1848–9, including the first and second sieges of Mooltan, and in the attack on the enemy's position in front of the advanced trenches 12 Sept. 1848, succeeding to the command of the right column of attack on the death of Lieutenant-colonel D. Pattoun. He commanded the 32nd at Soorjkhoond, and was present at the storm and capture of Mooltan, the action at Cheniote, and the battle of Goojerat (brevet of lieutenant-colonel and medal and clasps).

Inglis was in command of the 32nd, lately arrived from the hills, at Lucknow on the outbreak of the mutiny in 1857. He was second in command under Sir Henry Lawrence [q. v.] in the affair at Chinhut, 30 June 1857 (see Malleson, iii. 276–388), and afterwards in the residency at Lucknow, whither the garrison, numbering 927 European officers and soldiers and 765 loyal native soldiers, withdrew on 1 July. When Lawrence was mortally wounded on 2 July, Inglis succeeded to the command, at Lawrence's wish, and defended the place until the arrival of Sir Henry Havelock, 26 Sept. 1857, and remained there until the arrival of Sir Colin Campbell on 18 Nov. (medal). Inglis was wounded during the defence, but was not included in the casualty returns. He was promoted to major-general from 26 Sept. 1857, and made K.C.B. ‘for his enduring fortitude and persevering gallantry in the defence of the residency of Lucknow for 87 days against an overwhelming force of the enemy;’ and the legislature of his native colony presented him with a sword of honour, the blade formed of steel from Nova Scotian iron. He commanded a brigade in the attack on Tantia Topee, 6 Dec. 1857 (ib. iv. 188). He was appointed colonel 32nd light infantry 5 May 1860, and soon after was given the command of the troops in the Ionian islands. Inglis died at Hamburg 27 Sept. 1862, aged 47. He was, wrote a contemporary, ‘entitled to admiration for his unassuming demeanour, friendly warmth of heart, and sincere desire to help by all means in his power every one with whom he came in contact’ (United Service Mag. November 1862, p. 421). Inglis married in 1851 the Hon. Julia Selina Thesiger, daughter of the first Lord Chelmsford, who, with her three children, was present in the Lucknow residency throughout the defence.

[Dod's Knightage; Hart's Army Lists. For particulars of the operations in Canada in 1837 see Henry's Events of a Military Life, London, 1843, ii. 275–311. For accounts of Punjâb war see despatches in London Gazettes, 1848–9. For particulars of the defence of the Lucknow residency, see Malleson's Indian Mutiny (ed. 1888–1889), vols. iii. iv.; Quarterly Review, ciii. 505 et seq., and personal narratives there noticed; Professional Papers, Corps of Royal Engineers, vol. x.; obituary notices in Colburn's United Service Mag. November 1862.]

H. M. C.