John Inglis Scotland New Zealand Vanuatu

Biography of John Inglis

John Inglis
John Inglis

John Inglis enrolled to study Arts and Divinity at the University in 1838, and continued on to the Theological Hall of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, at Paisley in 1840. He was ordained in 1843 and was appointed as a missionary to the Maori, arriving at Wellington on 11 January 1845 with his wife. There Inglis joined the Reverend James Duncan in Manawatu.

Inglis' missionary work ended in New Zealand when in the 1850s he received an invitation to work alongside the Presbyterian Church of Nova Scotia and the London Missionary Society in the New Hebrides (modern day Vanuatu). After a three month cruise in the New Hebrides and the Solomon Islands, Inglis was granted a commission in 1852 to the island of Aneityum, New Hebrides, where he spent the next 24 years.

Inglis was said to have contributed much to the formation of an Aneityumese 'state'. A proponent of education for the island boys and a leading opponent of what he saw as the 'slave trade' in Melanesia, Inglis also contributed to the translations of the New Testament (1863) and Old Testament (1879). In recognition of his work in Aneityum, the University of Glasgow awarded him an honorary doctorate of Divinity in 1883.

Upon retirement to Kirkcowan, Wigtownshire, Scotland, Inglis wrote a number of books, including A dictionary of the Aneityumese language (1882), and In the New Hebrides: reminiscences of missionary life and work (1887). He died on 18 July 1891 at Kirkcowan, aged 85.


Archival Materials

  • R1/13/2/1 Compilation of honorary graduates awarded the DD 1730-1915


John Inglis
Born 14 July 1808.
Died 18 July 1891.
GU Degrees: DD, 1883; Arts, 1838;
University Link: Honorary Graduate, Student
Occupation categories: clergy; missionaries
English snippet: Honorary graduate of the University of Glasgow in 1888, Missionary at Vanuatu for 24 years
Record last updated: 4th Dec 2013

Country Associations

Scotland Scotland, Moniaive
Place of Birth

Scotland Scotland, Kirkcowan
Place of Death

New Zealand New Zealand, No Region

Vanuatu Vanuatu, No Region

University Connections

University Roles

  • Honorary Graduate
  • Student