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The Scottish Nation
Innes


INNES, a local surname of great antiquity, derived from the British Ynys, (Gaelic Inis,) and having the same signification as its derivative Inch, an island. The name, as given to the barony of Innes in the parish of Urquhart, in Moray, is very appropriate, part of it being an island formed by two branches of a stream running through the estate. The word is also sometimes used to denote level ground near a river. One Berowald, a supposed Fleming, a person of considerable rank and distinction in the reign of Malcolm IV. (1153-1165) got a charter from that monarch, for good services done against the rebellious natives of Moray, of the lands of ‘Innes and Easter Ureart,’ wherein he is styled Berowald Flandrensis. This charter is dated, as was the practice in those days, from a remarkable era, “apud Perth, in natali domini proximo post concordiam regis et Sumerledi,” &c. As there were two reconciliations of the Sumerleds to the crown, one in 1154, and the other in 1164, and as William, bishop of Moray, one of the witnesses, died in 1162, the date must refer to Christmas 1154.

      Berowald’s grandson, Walter, was the first that assumed the surname of Innes from his lands, and thus was the progenitor of all the Inneses in Scotland. He got a confirmation of the charter of his estate from Alexander II. In 1226. Walter’s grandson, William, was the first designed, in the chartulary of Moray, dominus de Innes, and his son, also named William, is mentioned in the burgh records of Elgin as baron de Innes. The grandson of the latter, Alexander, the seventh from Berowald and the eighth of his house, had three sons. 1. Sir Walter, who, on his death in 1393, succeeded him, but died unmarried. 2. Sir Robert, who continued the line of the family; and 3. John, bishop of Moray, from 1406 to 1414. It appears from his tombstone that this prelate gave great assistance to the rebuilding of Elgin cathedral.

      The second son, called the good Sir Robert, by his marriage with dame Janet Aberkerder, daughter and heiress of Sir David, thane of the lands of that name, was enabled to leave both the estates of Innes and Aberkerder to his son, Sir Walter, who received a charter to the latter estate, dated January 16, 1426, from Lord Lindsay of the Byres, the then superior. He had also another in 1433 from the earl of Ross. By his first wife, Eupham Fraser, daughter of the first Lord Lovat, he had, with two daughters, three sons: 1. Sir Robert, his heir. 2. Berowald-Rufus, or the Red, designed of Hatton, from whom some of the Inneses of Caithness are descended; and 3. John, bishop of Caithness, who died in 1448. By a second wife he had one son, John, of Ardmilly, ancestor of several families of the name of Innes. The eldest son, Sir Robert Innes, distinguished himself at the battle of Brechin in 1452. He married a daughter of the baron of Drumlanrig, by whom he had, with two daughters, three sons; 1. James, his heir. 2. Walter, ancestor of the Inneses of Innermarkie, afterwards of Balveny, of whom were descended the Inneses of Cockstone, Orton, Inchbrakie, Auchintoul, &c.; and 3. Robert, progenitor of the Inneses of Dreynie, &c. He died before 1464. His son, James of that ilk, called “James with the beard,” was armour-bearer to King James III., and from that monarch he had charters of several lands in Moray. According to the family papers, he married Janet Gordon, daughter of the third earl of Huntly, and, with two daughters, had two sons, Alexander, and Robert; the latter first designed of Cromy, and afterwards of Rathmakenzie, who carried on the line of the family. By a second wife, he had four sons, from whom are descended several families of the name of Innes.

      Alexander, the eldest son, the 17th laird of Innes, possessed a vast estate, having got no less than six charters under the great seal, of lands and baronies, in the years 1493, 1507, 1525, and 1533. By a precept from his uncle, George, earl of Huntly, dated 8th Sept. in the first mentioned of these years, he was infeft in the whole lands of the forestry of the Boyne. He died before 1541. He had two sons: Alexander, his heir, and William, of Forrester-seat, who, “in his old days,” succeeded his brother, and a daughter, Margaret, married to her cousin, James Innes of Cromy. The author of the ‘Historical Account of the Family of Innes,’ (Edin. 1820, 4to,) says: “It appears by their many agreements that both these Alexanders (father and son) had been very uneasy to the brother (of the former), Robert of Rathmakenzie and his family, which may be one reason why God, in his justice a little after this, extinguishes the race of Alexander, and leaves the inheritance to the children of his oppressed brother, Robert,” (page 32). By his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Forbes, Alexander had only a daughter, the wife of William Sinclair, brother of the earl of Caithness. The latter had sent over his brother to engage the lady for him, but she preferred William to his lordship, and brought with her for tocher the lands of Dunbaith and parish of Reay, which had till then belonged to the house of Innes. Alexander had several natural sons, to whom he gave landed estates, and from them some families of the name of Innes are descended.

      His brother, William, of Forrester-seat, and 19th laird of Innes, had two sons and a daughter, the latter married to Robert Innes, younger, of Innermarkie. The elder son, Alexander Innes of that ilk, married Lady Janet Gordon, eldest daughter of the 14th earl of Sutherland. He is represented as having been of a proud and violent disposition, which involved him in several lawsuits with kinsmen of his own, one of whom was Innes of Pethnok. In 1576 he met this gentleman at the cross of Edinburgh, when some high words passed between them, and the laird of Innes killed him on the spot with a blow from his dagger. Instead of trying to escape, however, he remained walking up and down at the cross for some time, until the earl of Morton, then regent, sent a guard to apprehend him. He was imprisoned in the castle, and for the crime was soon after tried, condemned, and executed. The family account above quoted states (page 36) that, after condemnation, he had made an agreement with the regent for a remission of the sentence, giving him for it, the barony of Kilmalemnock, worth 24,000 merks of yearly rent, but “the evening after the agreement was made, and writ given, being merry with his friends, at a collation, and talking anent the dearness of the ransom the regent had made him pay for his life, he vaunted that, had he his foot once loose, he would fain see what earle of Morton durst come and possess his lands; which being told to the regent that night, he resolved to play sure game with him, and, therefore, though what he spoke was in drink, the very next day he put the sentence of death in execution against him, by causing his head to be struck off in the castle, and then possest the estate.” Having no male issue, he was succeeded by his brother, John Innes of Innes. John, of a weak, inactive, and facile disposition, having no issue, was induced to enter into a mutual bond of entail with Alexander Innes of Cromy, his cousin and nearest heir male, son of James Innes of Cromy, who was killed at the battle of Pinkie, 10th September 1547. By this deed, dated 15th March 1577, it was agreed that failing heirs male of either, the other should succeed to their whole estates, and as Alexander of Cromy immediately assumed the title of Innes of that ilk, and acted as head of the family, even in the lifetime of laird John, great dissatisfaction was expressed by the other relatives, particularly by Robert Innes of Innermarkie, who was highly incensed at such a settlement of the estates. The family annalist says that Cromy, who was one of the bravest of his race, offered to meet Innermarkie in single combat, and to lay the deed of entail on the grass, to see if he durst take it up, but that the latter declined this, by, as he pretended, the persuasions of his friends. He had, however, resolved upon Cromy’s death, and he shortly after carried his design into execution. Alexander of Cromy was twice married, and by his second wife, Isobel, daughter of Arthur Forbes of Balfour, brother of the eighth Lord Forbes, had a son, Robert, who succeeded him. In April 1580 he had gone to Aberdeen, for the purpose of seeing his only son, Robert, then about sixteen years old, who had been taken ill at college. With a considerable number of attendants, Innes of Innermarkie and laird John, whom he had induced, by his representations, to believe that he had been cheated out of his inheritance by his cousin, Alexander of Cromy, rode to Aberdeen, and about midnight arrived at Alexander’s lodging. By raising the cry of “Help! A Gordon! A Gordon!” as if a sudden fray had taken place in the street, they succeeded in arousing him. Warmly attached to the Gordons, he started from his bed, and seizing his sword, opened a door that led to the court below, when Innermarkie immediately shot him through the body. Such of his followers as were near then fell upon him and stabbed him with their daggers. Laird John was compelled, by threats, to do the same, and Innermarkie actually forced John Innes, afterwards of Cockstone, then a youth at school, to rise from his bed, and plunge a dagger up to the hilt, into the body of his murdered kinsman. The assassins next intended to seize the son, Robert Innes, but alarmed by the noise, the young man, sick as he was, had left his bed, and by the help of a friend, escaped by a back-door into the garden, whence he was taken to the house of a neighbour.

      Innermarkie then took off the dead man’s signet ring from his finger, and having bribed one of his servants, he despatched him, with it, to Innes house, to show it to the widow of his master, as from her husband, and to ask, as if by his orders, for the box containing the title-deeds of the estate, with the deed of entail. The lady accordingly delivered up the box, and allowed him to depart. A young kinsman of the family, Alexander Innes, afterwards of Cotts, being then at Innes house, felt a strong inclination to return with the messenger, to see his sick friend, young Robert Innes, and on his leaving the stable he jumped up behind him on the horse’s back. A scuffle ensued between them, when the servant drew his dagger, but the youth wrested it from him, and stabbed him with it, so that he fell off the horse dead. The youth then returned to Innes house with the box and deeds, and told what had happened. At this very time, another servant arrived from Aberdeen, with the news of the murder. Lady Innes secured all the papers, and fled for protection to her friends, who immediately conducted her to the king, to whom she made her complaint. The earl of Huntly, a relation by blood of the family of Innes, on hearing of the murder, hastened to Aberdeen for the protection of young Robert Innes, whom he carried to Edinburgh, and for greater security placed him under the guardianship of the third lord Elphinstone.

      In the meantime, Laird John and Innermarkie had proceeded to Innes house, and the former was re-invested in the estates. Five weeks after the slaughter, on 17th May 1580, Innermarkie got from Laird John a new disposition of the estate of Innes in his favour, reserving his own liferent. Two years afterwards they were declared outlaws, and Robert Innes, who had married Lord Elphinstone’s daughter, went north from Edinburgh, with a commission against them both, and all others who had been accessory to his father’s death. Laird John endeavoured to escape to the south, but was discovered, apprehended and sent back to Innes house, by the friends of Lord Elphinstone. Robert did not put him to death, but made him sign his name to various writs, and compelled him to give up the charter chest with all the deeds it contained. Innermarkie took refuge for a while in the hills, but afterwards had a retreat, of difficult access, within the house of Edinglassie. In September 1584, he was surprised there by the young laird of Innes, and a party of adherents, the place of his concealment being first entered by Alexander Innes, the slayer of the faithless servant, who ever after got, in consequence, the name of ‘Craig-in-peril.’ Innermarkie was instantly slain, he head cut off, and conveyed to Lady Innes, who made a journey to Edinburgh with it, for the purpose of laying it at the feet of the king, “a thing,” says the relater, “too masculine to be commended in a woman.” (Hist. Account of the Family of Innes, pp. 50-58). The animosity between the families subsisted till November 1587, when, by the interposition of influential friends, all differences were accommodated, and the parties reconciled by mutual contract, the son of Innermarkie having renounced all pretensions to the estate and chiefship of Innes.

      Robert, the 23d Innes of that ilk, by his wife, dame Elizabeth Elphinstone, had, with three daughter, two sons, Sir Robert, who succeeded him, and Sir John, styled of Cromy, who was father of Sir Robert Innes of Muirtoun.

      The elder son, Sir Robert, 24th of that ilk, was created a baronet of Nova Scotia, to him and his heirs male whatever, 29th May 1625, being the fourth on the roll. The family annalist states that a cadet of the family, Innes of Balveny, with the view of obtaining precedence of his chief, had applied for a baronetcy, of which Sir Robert Gordon of Gordonston, a gentleman of the king’s bedchamber, brother of the earl of Sutherland, and an intimate friend of Innes of Innes, sent him timely notice. He immediately applied for one of a prior date, which was granted, and Balveny’s deferred till 1628. Sir Robert was sworn a privy councillor for life, and appointed one of the committee of Estates by the parliament, in 1641. He seems, however, to have been a royalist, for when he was forced to acknowledge the parliament in 1649, he was obliged to get his eldest son, Robert, to become surety for his good behaviour, in time to come. He had three sons and five daughters. The sons were; Sir Robert, second baronet; James, of Lichnett; and Captain William Innes of the guards.

      The eldest son, Sir Robert, second baronet, married Mary, daughter of Lord Ross of Hawkhead, and had, with six daughters, two sons, the younger of whom died unmarried.

      The elder, Sir James, third baronet, married dame Margaret Ker, daughter of Henry, Lord Ker, only son and apparent heir of Robert earl of Roxburghe, in consequence of which marriage his great-grandson obtained the titles and estates of the dukedom of Roxburghe. With three daughters, Sir James had three sons: Robert, who died in France before his father; Sir Hary, fourth baronet; and Hugh, who died in Flanders.

      Sir Hary, fourth baronet, was elected M.P. for Elginshire, in July 1704, and died 12th November 1721. By his wife, Jean, daughter of Duncan Forbes of Culloden, he had a numerous family, most of whom died young. One of his sons, Hary, succeeded as fifth baronet; and another, John, of Lochbroom, was an officer in the army.

      Sir Hary, fifth baronet, was appointed inspector of seizures in Scotland, in March 1748, and died in 1762. With five daughters, he had three sons. Hary, the eldest, having predeceased him, under age, James, the second, became sixth baronet. In 1767 he sold the estate of Innes to James, earl of Fife, and went to reside at Innes in Devonshire. On the decease of John, fourth duke of Roxburghe, 22d October 1805, Sir James Innes, as heir-general of the first earl of Roxburghe, assuming the additional name of Ker, claimed the titles and estates of that great family, and obtained them by a decision of the House of Lords in 1812 (see ROXBURGHE, duke of). In 1837 the duke of Roxburghe was created earl of Innes in the British peerage. The family annalist states that in the long course of their succession they were fortunate in three things. First, that their inheritance never went to a woman; next, that none of them ever married an ill wife; and, thirdly, that no friend ever suffered for their debt.

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      the family of Balveny, afterwards designed of Orton and Cockstoune, derive from Robert Innes, fifth baron of Innermarkie, the son of the murderer of Alexander Innes of Cromy above mentioned. He acquired from Lord Ochiltree the lands of Balveny, in Banffshire, to which he got a charter in 1615, and in consequence it became for a time the chief designation of the family. He was created by Charles I., a baronet of Nova Scotia, 12th February 1631, the title being to him and his heirs male. He had three sons: 1. Sir Walter; 2. William of Kinnermony; and 3. James, a colonel in the army. The eldest son, Sir Walter, second baronet, and his son, Sir Robert, third baronet, suffered many hardships for their loyalty in the reigns of Charles I. And II., and the family estate being greatly encumbered in consequence, was sold by the latter soon after the Restoration. On the death of the fourth baronet without issue, the title devolved upon his cousin James, son of Walter Innes of Orton, in Speyside, and grandson of William Innes of Kinnermony, second son of the first baronet.

      Sir James Innes of Orton, fifth baronet, had, with two daughters, five sons, and died in 1722. His eldest son, Sir Robert, of Orton, sixth baronet, received a liberal education, but on his father’s death was left with scarcely any land or property, and having been brought up to no trade or profession, was compelled to enlist as a private soldier in a regiment of dragoons, dropping his title for the time. While doing duty as sentry one evening at the quarters of Colonel Winram, the commander of his regiment, he was accosted by a gentleman, who desired to see the colonel. The stranger seemed struck with his appearance, and on being admitted, he informed Colonel Winram that the sentry before his door was a baronet of ancient lineage, Sir Robert Innes of Orton, who had disappeared suddenly from society, and it was supposed had entered the army. The colonel immediately desired another sentinel to take his place, and Sir Robert to be ushered into his presence. Soon after he procured a cornetcy of dragoons for him. Sir Robert subsequently married the colonel’s daughter and heiress, Margory Winram, and had an only surviving daughter, Catherine, married to James, 16th Lord Forbes. He died in 1758, and was succeeded by his brother, Sir Charles, sixth baronet, an officer in the army, on whose death in 1763, his next brother, Sir William, became 8th baronet. The latter died in 1817, when, having only daughters, the title reverted to his kinsman, Sir John Innes, of Edengight, Banffshire, lineal descendant of John Innes of Edengight, great-uncle of Sir Robert Innes, 1st baronet. On his death, March 23, 1829, his eldest son, Sir John, became 10th baronet, at whose decease, Dec. 3, 1838, the title devolved on his brother Sir James Milne Innes, 11th baronet, born Feb. 24, 1808, married in 1837 Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Thurburn, Esq. of Keith, issue, John, born Nov. 25, 1840, 4 other sons and 3 daughters; a deputy-lieutenant of Banffshire.

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      The family of Innes of Raemoir in Kincardineshire, are descended from Walter Innes of Innermarkie, living in 1486, 2d son of Sir Robert Innes of Innes, 11th of that ilk. His eldest son, Robert Innes of Innermarkie, had 4 sons. John, the youngest, was the first of the family of Edengight. A 2d son of the 7th laird, Alexander Innes of Cowie, Kincardineshire, and of Breda, Aberdeenshire, who died in 1778, was father of William Innes, Esq. of Raemoir, at one time a merchant in London; married, issue, two sons and a daughter; the elder son, Alexander, designed of Cowie, and the younger son, Thomas G. Rose Innes, passed advocate in 1853.

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      A family of the name of Innes, formerly designed of Cockstoune, and descended from Peter Innes of the Keam, younger son of Walter Innes of Innermarkie, above mentioned, hold a baronetcy of Nova Scotia, dating from 1631. Of this family Sir David Innes, Edinburgh, born in 1781, is the representative; son of George Innes, Esq., inspector-general of stamp duties for Scotland, by daughter of Sir James Innes, Bart. Of cockstoune; married, with issue; was at one time an officer in 99th foot. His son, George, born in 1834; married; an officer in 22d Bombay native infantry.

INNES, THOMAS, a Catholic priest, distinguished for his researches in early Scottish history, was superior of the Scots college at Paris, during the first part of the 18th century. In 1729, he published, at London, ‘A Critical Essay on the Ancient Inhabitants of the Northern Parts of Britain,’ 2 vols. 8vo, which contains much valuable information of interest to the historian, the critic, and the antiquary. According to Wodrow, he was also engaged collecting materials for an ‘Early History of the Church of Scotland,’ which was never published. He died in 1744. He succeeded his brother, Louis Innes, as principal of the Scots college, Paris. Louis held that office when James VII. And II. Sought an asylum in France, and was made almoner to the queen, and secretary of state to the expatriated monarch. To Louis Innes is ascribed the compilation of ‘The Memoirs of James II.,’ an abstract of which was published by Dr. J. S. Clarke, at London, in 1806, in 2 vols. Quarto.

INNES, JOHN, an anatomist of considerable skill, was a native of the Highlands, and for many years dissector to Dr. Alexander Monro, professor of anatomy in the university of Edinburgh. He was the author of a ‘Short Description of the Human Muscles,’ Edinburgh, 1776, and of ‘Eight Anatomical Tables of the Human Body,’ published the same year. He died January 11, 1778.


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