The Dictionary of National Biography, Vol X

George Ellis, James, Thomas
and William Inman

INMAN, GEORGE ELLIS (1814--1840), song-writer, born in 1814, and well educated, was for some time clerk in the office of a firm of wine merchants in Crutched Friars, London. He obtained some reputation as a song writer, fell a victim to opium-taking, and committed suicide on 26 Sept. 1840 in St. James's Park.

Two compositions of his, 'The Days of Yore' and 'St. George's Flag of England' gained prizes of ten and fifteen guineas respectively from the Melodists' Club in 1838 and 1840. Other songs of his were 'Sweet Mary mine,' which enjoyed a concert season's popularity; "My Native Hills,' set to music by Sir Henry Bishop; and 'Wake, wake, my Love,' set to music by Raffaelle Angelo Wallis. He wrote the libretto for Wallis's opera, 'The Arcadians.' He also contributed to various magazines. In the 'Bentley Ballads,' edited by Dr. Doran (new edition, 1861), are included two vigorous poems of his, 'Old Morgan at Panama' (p. 17) and 'Haroun Alraschid' (p. 80). In 'La Belle Assemblée' for September 1844 appeared posthumously a piece by him, 'Le premier Grenadier des Armées de la République.' He is said to have published a small volume of poems (Notes and Queries, 4th ser. v. 326).

[Globe newspaper, 28 Sept. 1840, p. 4, and 30 Sept. p. 4; Gent. Mag. November 1810, p. 550; Notes and Queries, 4th ser. v. 225-6.]

F. W-T.

INMAN, JAMES (1776-1859), professor of navigation and nautical science, born in 1776, was younger son of Richard Inman of Garsdale Foot, Sedbergh, Yorkshire. The family of substantial statesmen had own property in the neighbourhood from the time of the dissolution of the monasteries. James received his early education at Sedbergh grammar school, and subsequently became a pupil of John Dawson [q. v.] (see also J. W. Clark, Life and Letters of Adam Sedgwick, i. 70), and although entered at St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1794, did not go into residence till 1796. Inman graduated B.A. in 1800 as senior wrangler and first Smith's prizeman, and was elected to a fellowship. Though with no immediate intention of taking orders, Inman now turned his thoughts towards mission work in the East, and set out for Syria. The course of the war rendered it impossible for him to proceed further than Malta, where he devoted some time to the study of Arabic. On his return to England he was recommended to the board of longitude for the post of astronomer on board the Investigator discovery-ship, and joined her on her return to Port Jackson in June 1803 [see Flinders, Matthew]. When the Investigator's officers and men were turned over to the Porpoise, Inman was left at Port Jackson in charge of the instruments; but after the wreck and the return of Flinders, Inman accompanied him in the Rolla, and assisted him in determining the position of the reef on which the Porpoise had struck. With the greater part of the crew he then returned to England, via China, being assigned a passage in the company's ship Warley, in which he was present in the celebrated engagement with Linois off Pulo Aor on 15 Feb. 1804 [see Dance, Sir Nathanial; Franklin, Sir John]. In 1805 he proceeded M.A., and about the same time was ordained, though he does not appear to have held any cure; he proceeded to the degree of B.D. in 1815, and of D.D. in 1820.

On the conversion of the Royal Naval Academy at Portsmouth in 1808 into the Royal Naval College, Inman was appointed professor of mathematics, and virtually principal, and here he remained for thirty years. In this office Inman turned to good account the knowledge of navigation and naval gunnery which he had acquired at sea. In 1821 appeared his well-known book, 'Navigation and Nautical Astronomy for the use of British Seamen,' with accompanying tables. In the third edition (1836) he introduced a new trigonometrical function, the half-versine, or haversine, the logarithms of which were added to the tables, and enormously simplified the practical solution of spherical triangles. After long remaining the recognised text-book in the navy, the 'Navigation' has been gradually superseded, but the tables, with some additions, still continue in use.

It is said that Inman suggested to Captain Broke [Broke, Sir Philip Bowes Vere] some of the improvements in naval gunnery which were introduced on board the Shannon. He published in 1828 'An Introduction to Naval Gunnery,' designed strictly as an 'introduction' to the course of scientific teaching. It was during this period also that he produced for the use of his classes short treatises on 'Arithmetic, Algebra, and Geometry,' 1810, and 'Plane and Spherical Trigonometry,' 1826. These, however, have long been out of use, and are now extremely rare. No copy of either can be found in any of the principle libraries in London.

At his suggestion the admiralty established a school of naval architecture in 1810, and Inman was appointed principal. To supply the want of a text-book, he published in 1820 'A Treatise on Shipbuilding, with Explanations and Demonstrations respecting the Architectura Navalis Mercatoria, by Frederick Henry de Chapman, . . . translated into English, with explanatory notes, and a few Remarks on the Construction of Ships of War,' Cambridge, 4to. The translation was made from a French version, though compared with the Swedish. It has of course long been obsolete; but to Inman's labours was largely due the improvement in English ship-building during the first half of the present century. In 1839 the college was again reorganised, and Inman retired. For the next twenty years he continued to reside in the neighborhood of Portsmouth, and died at Southsea on 2 Feb. 1859.

Inman married Mary, daughter of Richard Williams, vicar of Oakham, Rutlandshire, a direct descendant of the mother of Sir Isaac Newton [q.v.] by her second husband, and left issue. In addition to the works already named, he was also the author of 'The Scriptural Doctrine of Divine Grace: a Sermon preached before the University,' Cambridge, 8vo, 1820, and 'Formulæ and Rules for making Calculations on Plans of Ships,' London, 8vo, 1849.

[Information from the Rev. H. T. Inman, Inman's grandson.] J. K. L.

INMAN, THOMAS, M.D. (1820-1876), mythologist, born on 27 Jan. 1820 in Rutland Street, Leicester, was second son of Charles Inman (a native of Lancaster, descended from a Yorkshire family), who was sometime partner in Pickford`s carrying company, and afterwards director of the Bank of Liverpool. William Inman [q.v.] was his younger brother. Thomas went to school at Wakefield, and in 1836 was apprenticed to his uncle, Richard Inman, M.D., at Preston, Lancashire. He entered at King's College, London, where he had a distinguished career, graduating M.B. in 1842 and M.D. in 1844 at the university of London. Declining a commission as an army surgeon, he settled in Liverpool as house-surgeon to the Royal Infirmary. He obtained a good practice as a physician, and was for many years physician to the Royal Infirmary. His publications on personal hygiene are full of shrewd practical counsel.

On 21 Oct. 1844 he became a member of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Liverpool, to whose 'Proceedings' he frequently contributed papers, chiefly on archæological subjects. He had little original scholarship, but read widely, and, although the philological basis of his researches is quite unscientific, his writings display great ingenuity. From Godfrey Higgins [q.v.] he derived the suggestion that the key to all mythology is to be sought in Phallic worship. On 5 Feb. 1866 he first propounded this theory in a paper on 'The Antiquity of certain Christian and other Names.' The subject was pursued in other papers, and in three works on 'Ancient Faiths,' which he published between 1868 and 1876.

In 1871 he gave up practice and retired to Clifton, near Bristol, where he died on 3 May 1876. He was a man of handsome presence, and his genial temperament made him generally popular. He married in 1844 Jennet Leighton, daughter of Daniel Newham of Douglas, Isle of Man, and had six sons and two daughters, of whom two sons and two daughters survived him.

His most important publications are: 1. 'Spontaneous Combustion,' Liverpool 1855, 8vo. 2. 'On certain painful Muscular Affections,' 1856, 8vo; 2nd edition, with title,'The Phenomena of Spinal Irritation,' &c., 1858, 8vo; 3rd edition, with title, '0n Myalgia,' &c., 1860, 8vo. 3. 'The Foundation for a new Theory and Practice of Medicine,' 1860, 8vo; 2nd edition, 1861, 8vo. 4. 'On the Preservation of Health,' &c., Liverpool 1868, 8vo; 2nd edition, 1870, 8vo; 3rd edition, 1872, 8vo. 5. 'Ancient Faiths embodied in Ancient Names; or, an attempt to trace the Religious Belief . . . of certain Nations,' &c., vol. i. 1868, 8vo; vol. ii, 1869, 8vo; 2nd edition, 1872-3, 8vo. 6. 'Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism exposed and explained,' &c., 1869, 8vo. 7. 'The Restoration of Health,' &c., 1870, 8vo; 2nd edition, 1872, 8vo. 8. 'Ancient Faiths and Modern: a Dissertation upon Worships . . . before the Christian Era,' &c., New York (printed at Edinburgh), 1876, 8vo.

[Information kindly furnished by Miss Z. Inman; Proceedings of the Lit. and Philos. Soc. of Liverpool; personal knowledge.] A. G.

INMAN, WILLIAM (1825-1881), founder of the Inman Line of steamships, born at Leicester on 6 April 1825, was fourth son of Charles Inman, a partner in the firm of Pickford & Co., who died on 10 Nov. 1858, by Jane, daughter of Thomas Clay of Liverpool (she died 11 Nov. 1865). Thomas Inman [q.v.], the mythologist, was his elder brother. Educated at the Collegiate Institute at Liverpool and at the Liverpool Royal Institution, William served as a clerk succesively to Nathan Cairns (brother of the first Earl Cairns), to Cater & Company, and to Richardson Brothers, all merchants at Liverpool. Of the latter firm he became a partner in January 1849, and managed their fleet of American sailing packets, then trading between Liverpool and Philadelphia. Here he first gained an intimate knowledge of the emigration business. Having watched with interest the first voyage to America, early in 1850, of Tod & Macgregor's screw iron ship the City of Glasgow of 1,600 tons and 350 horse-power, he was convinced of the advantages she possessed over both sailing ships and paddle steamers for purposes of navigation. In conjunction with his partners, he purchased the City of Glasgow, and on 17 Dec. in the same year despatched it with four hundred steerage passengers on a successful voyage across the Atlantic. In 1867 he formed the Liverpool, New York and Philadelphia Steamship Company, better known as the Inman line. Between 1851 and 1856 the company purchased the City of Manchester, the City of Baltimore, the Kangaroo, and the City of Washington, all iron screw-ships. In 1857 the company enlarged the area of their operations by making New York one of their ports of arrival, and establishing a fortnightly line thither. In 1860 they introduced a weekly service of steamers; in 1863 they extended it to three times fortnight, and in 1866 to twice a week during the summer. The failure of the Collins line was advantageous to Inman, for he adopted their dates of sailing, and henceforth carried the mails between England and America. Inman specially directed his attention to the removal of the discomforts of emigrant passengers. In 1875 the City of Berlin, the longest and largest steam-vessel afloat, the Great Eastern excepted, was launched. Inman was a member of the local marine board of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Trust, and of the first Liverpool school board; was captain of the Cheshire rifle volunteers, magistrate for Cheshire, and chairman of the Liverpool Steam Shipowners' Association. He frequently gave evidence before committees of the House of Commons, more paticularly in 1874 on the committee on Merchant Ships Measurement of Tonnage Bill (Parliamentary Papers, 1874, vol. x., Report 1874, pp. 182-8, 238-47).

He died at Upton Manor, near Birkenhead, on 3 July 1881 and was buried in Moreton parish church on 6 July. He married, on 20 Dec 1849, Anne Brewis, daughter of Willim Stobart of Picktree, Durham, by whom he had twelve children, nine sons and three daughters.

[Lindsay's Merchant Shipping, 1876, iv. 251-260, 611-12; Times, 26 Jan. 1877, p. 10, 5 July 1881, p. 8; Burke's Landed Gentry.]

G. C. B.

Taken from The Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. X