Cosmo Neilson Innes 1798-1874


Cosmo, born in Durris, married Isabella Rose of Kilravock in 1826 and they had 9 children, 4 girls, including Euphemia who must have died as a baby, and 5 boys. The boys, John, Hugh, James, Francis and Cosmo all worked in the East, countries such as India and Borneo and died young (apart from James), John and Francis actually in India. However one of his daughter, our great grandmother Margaret Isabella or Mabel as she was sometimes called, lived to the ripe old age of 90! Andrew and I found his gravestone in August 2010.


Cosmo senior had 15 siblings, all of whom died except one sister Elizabeth, called after her grandmother Elizabeth Rose of Kilravock. I do feel sorry for Cosmo's mother, what a time some Victorian women had!


These are all extracts I have made from different websites. As you can see there is a lot of information about Cosmo on the web.


From Wikipedia

Cosmo Nelson Innes, 9 September 1798, Durris - 31 July 1874, Killin, was a Scottish historian and antiquary.

(The name "Durris" comes from dorus (Gaelic - a door or opening), which in fact it was - for Durris lies at the northern end of the Crynes Corse Pass over the Mounth In 1795, Durris was let on a long lease to John Innes of Leuchars, near Elgin. He carried out extensive improvements to the estate but when, in 1824, Durris passed to the Gordons, Innes - after a lengthy and expensive lawsuit - was ejected and virtually ruined. John Innes was the father of Cosmo).

Cosmo was educated at Edinburgh High School, at Aberdeen and Glasgow Universities, and at Balliol College, Oxford. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1822, and was appointed Professor of Constitutional Law and History in the University of Edinburgh in 1846. He was the author of Scotland in the Middle Ages (1860), and Sketches of Early Scottish History (1861). He also edited many historical MSS. for the Bannatyne Club and other antiquarian clubs.


John William Cousin (1849-1910) wrote this about Cosmo Innes.

Innes, Cosmo (1798-1874). Historian and antiquary, was called to the Scottish Bar in 1822, and was appointed Prof. of Constitutional Law and History in the Univ. of Edin. in 1846. He was the author of Scotland in the Middle Ages (1860), and Sketches of Early Scottish History (1861). He also ed. many historical MSS. for the Bannatyne and other antiquarian clubs. Much learning is displayed in his works



Richard Marsden: Editing the Past: Cosmo Innes and the Scottish Medieval Church

This paper explores how the medieval church was portrayed in nineteenth-century Scotland in the context of a mainstream historiography that was strongly Presbyterian. It focuses specifically on the work of Cosmo Innes (1798-1874), a lawyer, record scholar, historian, antiquarian and university professor who was situated at the heart of Scotlandí s historical community and at the vanguard of research into Scotlandís medieval past. The core of this paper is an examination of Innesís prolific work as an editor of Scottish monastic and Episcopal cartularies, focuses on both on the extensive introductory essays that Innes prefixed to his editions, and on the ways in which he arranged and presented material to support a very particular view of the institutional manifestations of the pre-Reformation Church in Scotland.


This came from a website called 'zoominfo'

Cosmo Innes (1798-1874) descended from the hereditary Keepers of Spynie Castle.He held Whig views, pursued a successful career as an advocate, and became Sheriff of Moray in 1840. But his passion was to rescue Scotland's historical documents.He devoted immense labours to arranging, editing and publishing h his country's records, and became a professor of Edinburgh University.... His descendant is the 29th Baron of Innes.(whoever he is!)


Information taken from a website called 'Pencils of Light'.

It discusses 'The Edinburgh Calotype Club' of which Cosmo was a founding member.

Professor Cosmo Innes (1798-1874). Advocate and antiquary. He was Sheriff of Elgin from 1840 to 1852 and Principal Clerk of Session 1852 to 1874. He was an active member and editor of the Bannatyne, Spalding and Maitland clubs. From 1846 to 1874 he was Professor of Constitutional Law and History at Edinburgh University and from 1858 to 1859 he served as Vice-President of the fledgling Photographic Society of Scotland.(See below)


Photographic Society of Scotland

Cosmo Innes was a founding member of the Photographic Society of Scotland (PSS) in 1856 and was still a member when the society was wound up in 1873. He was elected one of the society's two Vice Presidents for two years from March 1858, when the PSS was two years old. He read a paper to the PSS in 1856, published in Photographic Notes [Vol 1, 1856, pp169-172] and another paper A Tour: The Coasts of Spain to the society in 1857. He entered six calotype photographs of Scottish scenes - Mid Calder Church, Dunrobin Castle (2) and Elgin Cathedral (3) - in the 1856 PSS Exhibition. He entered a number of picturesque scenes of Venice and the old towns of Germany in the 1859 PSS Exhibition


Edinburgh Photographic Society

Cosmo Innes gave a lecture entitled Notes of a Photographic Tour in France, Italy and Spain to the Edinburgh Photographic Society (EPS) in their 1863-64 session, when EPS was two years old.



His daughters

Mary Innes was the daughter of Cosmo Innes.1 She married Robert Bannatyne Finlay, 1st Viscount Finlay Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, son of William Finlay and Ann Bannatyne, on 26 August 1874. She died on 11 June 1911.

From 26 August 1874, her married name became Finlay.

Child of Mary Innes and Robert Bannatyne Finlay, 1st Viscount Finlay .William Finlay, 2nd Viscount Finlay b. 15 Oct 1875, d. 30 Jun 1945


Information taken from a magazine called 'Leopard'.

Katherine Innes

William Kinninmond Burton's mother Katherine, was the daughter of fellow historian and advocate Professor Cosmo Innes who, as one the earliest amateur photographers in Scotland, was one of several influential figures in Williamís early life. During Williamís childhood the family home was Craig House, a handsome 16th century building commanding a splendid outlook across Edinburgh and the Forth. Now known as Old Craig, it is part of the Craighouse campus of Napier University and one of the focal points for the events to celebrate Williamís life.

Katherine wrote a memoir of her father. It is still in print and Susan holds a copy.