Colonel John Wright

Plaque in memory of Colonel John Wright of the East India Company who died 1842, and his wife, Elizabeth Innes, who died 1840. The plaque also mentions three of their children who died at Portobello between 1833 and 1836, as well as their son, John Innes Wright, who died in Edinburgh in 1858.

John Wright, born 30 June, 1788, place unknown, died 28 June, 1842 London (or possibly at sea). He was the son of the Rev. John Wright, minister of Scone. Siblings included Rev. George Wright; James Wright, Esq.; Charles, who died c. 1794 and was buried at Scone with his father; and sisters, Jessy and Amelia. John Wright’s will was probated 1843, Prerogative Court of Canterbury, London, confirming John Wright as Lieutenant Colonel in the Madras Army, India, at the time the will was written. His brother, James Wright, Esq., Writer to Her Majesty’s Signet in Edinburgh, is listed as Executor, along with Messrs. Griffiths and Company, Madras. The beneficiaries are his two surviving children, Elizabeth Wright Barber and John Innes Wright. There is further litigation related to the original will in1859 (Barber v. Barber) noted by several legal journals, including “The Law Times”. The name “Barber” refers to Colonel Wright’s daughter, Elizabeth Wright Barber, and this event occurred after the death of her brother, John Innes Wright.

Elisabeth Innes, wife, birth 1788, Madras, India; christening 21 January, 1790; death, Moulmein, Burma, 14 June, 1840. Parents have been identified as John Innes (1760-1818) and Bibi. The Innes line has been traced to the 12th Century in Britain (Sources: The House of Innes – the Story of a Family by Robert Innes-Smith, Derby, 1990 and Ancestry Family Trees,

John Wright and Elisabeth Innes married 14 January, 1819 in Secundersbad, India

Son, James Innes Wright, christened 21 September 1821, Duddingston, Midlothian, Scotland; died 2 May 1858 at Edinburgh. His will states he was a Captain in the 27th Regiment of the Madras Native Infantry.

Daughter, Innes Amelia Wright, born 23 October 1823; christened 24 July 1824 at Duddingston, Midlothian, Scotland; died 11 March 1836.

Daughter, Elizabeth Wright Barber, born 28 November 1825; christened 18 November 1826, Duddingston, Midlothian, Scotland. Married Lieutenant Frederick Charles Barber, 15 July 1846, Edinburgh Parish. (Elizabeth is not buried with Colonel Wright.)

Daughter, Euphemia Tod Wright, born 23 July 1827, Jalna, Maharashtra, India. Christened: 11 January, 1828 Duddingston, Midlothian, Scotland. Died 14 September 1835, Portobello.
Daughter, Maria Charlotte Wright, born 6 April 1829; christened 2 October 1829 at Duddingston, Midlothian, Scotland. Died 25 February 1833, Portobello.

James Wright, Esq., brother of Colonel John Wright and Executor to his will, was born c. 1783 and died 21 March 1864 Edinburgh; Writer to Her Majesty’s Signet, Edinburgh. (Not buried with Colonel Wright.)

Note: In 1824, James Wright, Esq. is found to be the Respondent in a case brought to court with the Earl of Mansfield as Appellant, regarding the “Churchyard Sepulchre” in Scone where James’ and John Wright’s father was buried c. 1795. The church at Scone had been moved, and the graves of Rev. John Wright and his son, Charles, were afterward found to be in the “pleasure grounds” of the Earl of Mansfield after the removal of the church. James Wright requested a “wall or fence” be built around the graves for protection and family visitation rights upheld. The Earl of Mansfield appealed the case to the House of Lords, but the case was dismissed.

It appears the Wright family would have been pleased with the rebuilding of the churchyard wall at St. Marks.

Sources: Scotland Births and Baptisms 1564-1950 (online database); Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills and Ancestry Family Trees at;; Madras Ecclesiastical Returns; The Law Times, Nov, 8 & 9, 1859, Volume 35, V.C. Kindersley’s Court; A History of the Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet; The Scots Revised Reports: House of Lords series, 1821-1827. All sources were e-books and/or online databases.