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Innes, A. Taylor (1833 - 1912)

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A. Taylor Innes (1833–1912) was a lawyer, writer, biographer and church historian. He was born on 18 December 1833 at Tain, Ross and Cromarty. His father was Alexander Innes, an accountant and bank agent, and his mother, Martha Taylor. He was educated at the Royal Academy in Tain and from 1848 to 1852 at the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated MA. Taylor Innes entered the legal profession although he originally intended to study theology and become a minister. His scruples about accepting the Westminster confession of faith prevented him from doing so although he remained within the Free Church communion. He contributed to articles on a religious theme to various journals, and his interest in the legal aspects of church creeds and traditions led to the publication of his pioneering work, The Law of Creeds in Scotland, in 1867. He corresponded with W. E. Gladstone on the subject of the disestablishment of the Scottish Church and visited him in May 1868. He also wrote a scholarly paper called "Gladstone in Transition"[1] in which he defended Gladstone's views, and for which he received the latter's appreciation. In 1881, Taylor Innes was appointed Advocate Depute under Gladstone's second government (1880–1885) and was reappointed under the subsequent Gladstone (1892–94) and Rosebery (1894–95) governments. In later life he withdrew from active legal practice to concentrate on ecclesiastical issues, where perhaps his historical significance lies. In 1880, he married Sophia, daughter of Alexander D. Fordyce, a landowner and Liberal MP. She died less than a year later. He died in Edinburgh on 31 January 1912 and was buried in Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh.[2]...

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