In distinguishing this John Inglis from many others of his family bearing the same name, this individual is often referred to as "the Admiral" (John Inglis). He was baptized along with his younger brother David at Christ Church, Philadelphia on 27 September 1744. Although he was the sixth child born to his parents, he was the oldest son to survive to adulthood.
In 1757, during the Seven Years' War, as a boy of 14 he joined H.M.S. Garland as a volunteer. Boys could not become midshipman until the age of 15 or after serving two years as "first-class volunteers." His stint as a volunteer was brief. He was recorded as a runaway after only a short voyage and some very heavy weather. This desertion did not seem to weigh against him, for he soon after was signed on as an able bodied seaman on the H.M.S. Hussar. He apparently passed himself off as originating from London, but the deception could not have held long. The Hussar was captained by John Elliot, brother to Andrew Elliot, who was married to Eleanor McCall, John Inglis' aunt. The relationship between Captain Elliot and John Inglis grew to be a strong and affectionate one, ending only with Captain Elliot's death.
In all his years of vigorous adulthood, he was a seafaring man. Over time he made Scotland, the home of his father's family, rather than the American colonies his home when not at sea. He eventually rose to become an Admiral in the Royal Navy, but probably spent several years serving aboard merchant vessels. On 21 January 1777 he married an Inglis cousin, Barbara, who was co-heiress (with her two sisters) of the Inglis family properties Auchindinny and Langbyres in Midlothian, Scotland. The couple resided in Edinburgh, Scotland. There was issue from his marriage.
He was buried in Colinton Parish Churchyard.
The Admiral's son - another John Inglis - was known as "the Laird" thanks to his ownership of Auchindinny.
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