Inglis, Charles (1734–1816), clergyman and loyalist in America, was born at Glencolumbkille, Co. Donegal, youngest of three sons of the Rev. Archibald Inglis, clergyman at Glen and Kilcar; there are no details of his mother. Orphaned at the age of 11, he was prevented by lack of money from entering TCD, and instead decided to emigrate to America around 1754. Arriving in Pennsylvania, he was employed as an assistant master at the Free School in Lancaster (1755–8). After a period of spiritual reflection, he travelled to England and was ordained an anglican minister in London in 1758. Immediately he returned to America, as a missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Dover, Delaware, with jurisdiction over the whole of Kent county.
A charismatic preacher, Inglis soon doubled the numbers of his parishioners, and was unique in allowing black slaves to receive communion. He married (1764) Mary Vining, and this gave him connections to one of the most powerful families in Delaware; however, she died in childbirth shortly afterwards. Because of his evangelical zeal and preaching abilities he was appointed assistant rector in New York in 1765, the most prestigious parish in the colonies, under Samuel Auchmuty. While in New York he embarked on a period of self-education, learning Hebrew, Syriac, and Aramaic, and improving his Greek and Latin; in recognition of his scholarly habits he was awarded a doctorate in divinity by Oxford University in 1778. He published his only theological work, an 180-page essay defending infant baptism, in 1768. After visiting the Mohawk valley in 1770 he became committed to converting the Native Americans, and urged the Church of England to establish itself in the wilderness. With the outbreak of war between the colonies and Britain (1775), he threw himself enthusiastically into polemical defences of the crown's position. In total he published about thirty pamphlets and articles, most of them anonymously; the most famous and controversial was The true interest of America impartially stated (1776), a trenchant attack on Thomas Paine's Common sense. It speculated that France would side with Britain against the colonists, urged the Americans to avoid a declaration of independence, and suggested that a republican form of government would neither suit the country nor the people. However, almost all the copies were burned by the hangman and it made little impact. He helped save St Paul's from the great fire on 21 September 1776 and became rector of Trinity church after the death of Auchmuty the following year. In 1776 he played a leading role in defending loyalist interests in New York, even after its occupation by the American army. He courageously continued to preach against the rebellion, and pray for the king, despite much opposition and many threats to his life. In 1783 he left the newly established USA and returned to Britain.
His vast colonial experience was much respected and on 12 August 1787 he was named first colonial bishop of Nova Scotia, with jurisdiction over Canada; this marked the beginning of one of the most successful periods of his life. Between 1787 and 1816 he founded forty-four churches in the region, and was also involved in the establishment of King's College at Windsor, Nova Scotia. He died 24 February 1816 at his home near the parish church of Aylesford, after years of suffering from gout and malaria. He had married for the second time (31 May 1773) Margaret Crooke (d. 1783); they had two sons and two daughters. His son, John (c.1781–1850), became the third bishop of Nova Scotia in 1825.