Clan Mackintosh is a Scottish clan from Inverness with strong Jacobite ties. The Mackintoshes share a common history with the Chattan Confederation.
Origins of the clan
Shaw, son of Duncan Macduff, accompanied King Malcolm IV of Scotland to Morayshire to suppress rebellion in 1160. In 1163 he was granted land in the Findhorn valley and made constable of Inverness Castle. Upon Shaw’s death in 1179, his son, Shaw the second became chief and was confirmed by William I of Scotland the Lion.
Probably the earliest authentic history of Mackintosh is traceable to Shaw or Search Macduff, a cadet son of the third Earl of Fife. The son of Macduff, for his support of King Malcolm IV, was awarded the lands of Petty and Breachley in Invernesshire and was appointed Constable of the Castle thereto. Assuming the name Mac an Taoiseach which means “Son of the Chieftain”, he became the progenitor of his own clan.
In 1263 the Clan Mackintosh fought at the Battle of Largs in support of King Alexander III of Scotland against King Haakon IV of Norway. The fifth Chief of the Clan Mackintosh was killed during the battle, he was called Farquhar Mackintosh.
In 1291, Angus, sixth chief of Mackintosh, married Eve, the heiress of Chattan Confederation. This marriage brought the Chattan lands of Glenloy and Loch Arkaig under Mackintosh control. Since this time, the Chattan Confederation has been led by the Mackintoshes, although this has been challenged unsuccessfully by the Macphersons.
Wars of Scottish Independence
Chief Angus Mackintosh later supported Robert I of Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence. He led the Clan Mackintosh at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 where the English were defeated. He is placed second in the list of chiefs given by General Stewart of Garth as present in this battle.
14th century & clan conflicts
Clan Mackintosh were involved in many clan battles mostly against Clan Cameron with whom they had an extensive feud which lasted over 350 years:
Battle of Drumlui, 1337: a dispute between the Clan MacKintosh and Clan Cameron over land at Glenlui and Loch Arkaig. The Camerons were defeated but started a 350 year feud.
Battle of Invernahoven, 1370: fought between the Clan Cameron and the Chattan Confederation of Clan MacKintosh, Clan Macpherson and Clan Davidson.
Battle of the North Inch, 1396: in the aftermath of the battle of Invernahoven the Camerons did not wait long to take their revenge on the Mackintoshes and the Chattan Confederation. The feud between them had become so fierce and bloody that the King Robert III was made aware of it. The King brought the two rival chiefs of Clan Cameron and Clan Mackintosh together and decided it would be resolved by the sword. The King ordered part of the river near the city of Perth to be enclosed with a deep ditch in the form of an amphitheatre with seats and benches for the spectators; his majesty himself sitting as the judge on the field. Crowds and combatants appeared. The clans chose thirty of their best warriors each to take part. Four of the Mackintoshes survived the battle but they were all mortally wounded. One Cameron survived and escaped by swimming across the River Tay. The Mackintoshes regained all their lands that had been taken from them.
15th century & clan conflicts
Battle of Harlaw, 1411: the Clan Mackintosh fought in support of Domhnall of Islay, Lord of the Isles, chief of Clan Donald. Other clans of the Chattan Confederation fought under the standard and command of the Mackintosh chief.
Image:Clan Mackintosh modern tartan.png
Clan Mackintosh modern tartan
Battle of Split Allegiances, 1429: this conflict was between forces led by Alexander of Islay, Earl of Ross, 3rd Lord of the Isles and the Royalist army of King James I of Scotland.
Battle of Palm Sunday, 1429: fought between the Clan Cameron against the Clan Mackintosh and the Chattan Confederation.
Battle of Inverlochy (1431): the Clan Mackintosh together with their old enemies the Clan Cameron fought against the Clan Donald whose chief Alexander of Islay, Earl of Ross had been imprisoned by the King. The MacDonalds were led by Alexander’s nephew, Donald Balloch, and they defeated the army led by the Earl of Mar.
Battle of Craig Cailloch, 1441: Clan Mackintosh, at the instigation of Alexander, Lord of the Isles, began to invade and raid the Clan Cameron lands. A sanguinary conflict took place in this year at Craig Cailloch between the Camerons and the Mackintoshes in which Mackintosh’s second son, Lachlan “Badenoch” was wounded and Gillichallum, his brother, killed.
Battle of Clachnaharry, 1454, John Munro of Milntown, uncle of Foulis, took the clan on a private raid into Perthshire, Clan MacKenzie country. On their way home with their captured cattle the Munros had to pass through Clan Mackintosh country and an amount of ‘road collop’ or passage money was demanded. There was a dispute over the amount and the Munros sent their spoils on ahead hotly pursued by the Mackintoshes who overtook them at Clachnaharry.
Raid on Ross 1491: a conflict that took place in the Scottish Highlands. It was fought between the Clan Mackenzie against several other clans, including the Clan MacDonald of Lochalsh, Clan MacDonald of Clanranald the Clan Cameron and the Chattan Confederation of Clan Mackintosh. They then proceeded to Inverness where they stormed the Inverness Castle and Mackintosh placed a garrison in it.
16th century and clan conflicts
Battle of Bun Garbhain, 1570: Fought between the Clan Cameron and Clan Mackintosh. Donald Dubh Cameron, XV Chief of Clan Cameron, had died, leaving an infant son, Allan, at the head of the clan. During the battle the chief of MacKintosh is believed to have been killed by Donald ‘Taillear Dubh na Tuaighe’ Cameron, (son of the XIV Chief of Clan Cameron), with a fearsome Lochaber axe.
In 1592 the Clan Mackintosh captured and destroyed Auchindoun Castle in Auchindoun near Dufftown which then belonged to the Clan Cochrane. The castle later passed to the Clan Ogilvy.
Battle of Glenlivet, 1594: the Clan Mackintosh and Chattan Confederation fought on the side of the Earl of Argyll along with Clan Campbell, Clan Stewart of Atholl and Clan Forbes. They were defeated by the Earl of Huntly’s forces which consisted of Clan Gordon, Clan Comyn and Clan Cameron.
17th century and civil war
During the Civil War of the 17th century the Clan Mackintosh were staunch royalist supporters of the King. They fought in the royalist army which was commanded by James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose.
Stand-off at the Fords of Arkaig 1665: the Clan Chiefs of Clan Mackintosh and Clan Cameron were ordered by the Privy Court to end the dispute over the lands near Loch Arkaig once and for all. While Mackintosh was declared to have the legal right Cameron was declared to be the owner. Cameron was ordered to pay Mackintosh a large sum of money for the land but Mackintosh refused this. Soon after, Clan Mackintosh along with the Chattan Confederation assembled an army of 1500 men. Camerons had raised a force of approximately 1000 men who took up a defensive stance at Achnacarry. Camerons biographer records that there were 900 men armed with guns and broadswords and a further 300 men armed with bows. However, just as Clan Cameron commenced their attack the powerful Clan Campbell appeared on the scene. John Campbell, Chief of Campbells brought with him 300 men and declared that he would fight against whichever side initiated the impending battle. The Cameron Chief, Ewen soon withdrew all his troops. As a result one of the bloodiest feuds in Scottish history came to an end after 360 years. On September 20th 1665 a contract was signed by both Chiefs of Cameron and Mackintosh with Cameron agreeing to buy the lands from Mackintosh. Then at a place called Clunes around 24 men from each side met face to face and shook hands for the first time in generations. Here they exchanged swords as a token of reconciliation and drank together.
Battle of Mulroy, 1668: Clan Cameron and Clan Mackintosh were at peace and Cameron Chief Sir Ewen was responsible for keeping the peace between his men and their former enemies. However, when the Chief Sir Ewen Cameron was away in London a feud broke out between Clan MacDonald of Keppoch and their enemies Clan Mackintosh and Clan MacKenzie. As the Cameron Chief was away he was not able to hold back his clan and the combined forces of Cameron and MacDonald defeated the Mackintoshes and MacKenzies.
18th century and the Jacobite uprisings
During the 18th century the Clan Mackintosh supported the Jacobite cause and the House of Stewart. On 15 September 1715 the Clan Mackintosh fought as Jacobites at the Battle of Sherrifmuir where the Jacobites were defeated by British government forces.
Lady Anne Farquharson-Mackintosh
By the time of the 1745 rebellion Angus Mackintosh, the chief of Clan Mackintosh, had become a commander in the British Black Watch regiment. While he was away on duty his wife, Lady Anne Farquharson-Mackintosh rallied 350 men of the Clan Mackintosh and Chattan Confederation to the Jacobite standard at the Battle of Culloden in April 1746. Angus was captured at the Battle of Prestonpans and was paroled to his wife. She famously greeted him with the words, “Your servant, captain” to which he replied, “your servant, colonel” thereby giving her the nickname ‘Colonel’ Anne.
The night before the Battle of Culloden, Charles Edward Stuart spent the night at the Mackintosh home on Loch Moy. To prevent the troops from Inverness descending on the estate in surprise during the night, Lady Anne Farquharson-Mackintosh sent her youngest son along with the blacksmith and two other retainers to watch the road from Inverness. Sure enough, during the night Hanoverian troops were witnessed marching down the road. The Mackintosh defenders started beating their swords on rocks, jumping from place to place and shouting the war cries of different clans in the Chattan Confederation. Thinking that they had been ambushed, the British troops retreated to Inverness. There was only one casualty of this incident, the piper for the English troops, possibly a famous McCrimmon, was killed.
At Culloden, the Mackintosh Clan was the first to charge the British troops. They broke through the first two ranks, but then found themselves trapped behind the lines. Almost all of the Mackintosh warriors were killed.
Moy Hall is the current seat of the chief of Clan Mackintosh.
Moy Castle on Moy Island, on Loch Moy was the original seat of the chief of Clan Mackintosh.
Gaelic Name: Mac-an-Toiseach
Origin: Gaelic ‘Toiseach’ - leader, chief or captain. According to clan historians, the first chief of the clan was Shaw, second son of Duncan MacDuff, Earl of Fife, Royal house of Dalriada. The name therefore has been thought to mean ’son of the chief’.
Crest: A cat-a-mountain salient guardant Proper
Mottos: Touch Not The Cat Bot A Glove (”Touch not the cat without a glove”) & Loch Moigh - Rallying Cry
Arms: The Arms in the hoist and of two tracts Or and Gules, upon which is depicted the Crest in the first compartment, and a sprig of red whortleberry in the second and third compartments, along with the Slughorn ‘Loch Moigh’ in letters Or upon two transverse bands Azur.
The current Chief is John Mackintosh of Mackintosh. He has been chief since 1995 and currently resides in Singapore as a teacher at Nanyang Girls’ High School. The following table is a list of some of the previous chiefs of Clan Mackintosh.
Name (+ Gaelic Name)
Malcolm Mackintosh, 33rd chief
Kenneth Mackintosh, 32nd chief
Served in the Army of North Africa, World War II.
Duncan Alexander Mackintosh, 31st chief
Fought in the Boer War.
Arbell Mackintosh, 30th chief
Grandaughter of previous chief. Seated at Dalcross Castle. Worked for the Red Cross during World War II.
Lachlan Mackintosh, 29th chief
Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, commanded the destroyer, Medea in World War I.
Alfred Donald Mackintosh, 28th chief
Officer in the Highland Light Infantry and later commanding officer of 3rd (Militia) Battalion of the Cameron Highlanders. Convener of Inverness-shire County Council, Lord Lieutenant of Inverness 1905 – 1938
Alexander Aneas Mackintosh, 27th chief
Commanded 10th Roy Bridge Company, 1st Administrative Battalion, Inverness-shire Rifle Volunteers, known as Mackintosh’s Company. Married a daughter of Sir Fredrick Graham of Netherby in 1875.
Alexander Mackintosh, 26th chief
Continued his father’s trading business. Fought in the War of American Independence, saving a garrison on Lake Huron from starvation after running a gauntlet of fire from American riflemen on both sides of the River St Claire. Later returned to Scotland with his father where he succeeded as chief.
Angus Mackintosh, 25th chief
Succeeded his brother as chief. Set out to Detroit in 1777 after the American War of Independence and became a successful merchant in the Indian trade. In 1799 moved across the Detroit River into Upper Canada and built a house called Moy Hall near Sandwich. Married Archange St Martin, daughter of an officer of the French Army. Later returned to Scotland and died at Daviot House.
Alexander Mackintosh, 24th chief
Succeeded his second cousin as chief. Eldest son of Duncan Mackintosh of Castle Leathers. Became a merchant in Jamaca, built a house there called Moy Hall. Later returned to Scotland and built Daviot House on the bank of the River Nairn.
Aneas Mackintosh, 23rd chief
Succeeded his uncle as chief. Raised a company of men for the 2nd Battalion of Frasers Highlanders under Simon Fraser, son of Lord Lovat, to fight in the Wars of American Independence. Fought at the Battle of Brooklyn. Built the third Moy Hall in Scotland after the second one burnt down.
Angus Mackintosh, 22nd chief
Succeeded his brother as chief. Held a commission in the British Black Watch regiment under King George II of Great Britain, however his clan supported the Jacobite cause under the leadership of his wife, Lady Anne Farquharson-Mackintosh while he was away on duty and Angus was not with his clansmen who fought as Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden.
William Mackintosh, 21t chief
Succeeded his second cousin as chief, grandson of the 17th chief. Married Christian Menzies of Castle Menzies.
Lachlan Mackintosh, 20th chief
Supported the Jacobite rebellion of 1715, was captured and imprisoned along with his kinsmen, Mackintosh of Borlum at the Battle of Preston (1715). Borlum escaped to France after five months in prison. He later returned to Scotland in 1719 and was present at the Battle of Glenshiel where the Jacobites were defeated by government forces. Lachlan Mackintosh was released from prison in 1716.
Lachlan Mackintosh, 19th chief
Continued to dispute with the Camerons the lands of Glenoy and Loch Arkaig. Was captured by MacDonalds at the Battle of Mulroy in 1688 but was later rescued by the Clan Macpherson. Was presented with the sword used by Viscount Dundee who was killed at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689. The sword is now preserved in Moy Hall.
William Mackintosh, 18th chief
Succeeded as chief aged nine. Later supported the King during the Civil War. Was made a Lieutenant under James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose in 1644. Died soon after The Restoration of King Charles II.
Lachlan Mackintosh, 17th chief.
Succeeded in minority under the tutorship of his uncle, William Mackintosh of Benchar who reunited the Chattan Confederation under a bond of union in 1609. Lachlan Mackintosh was knighted by the King in 1617.
Lachlan Mor Mackintosh, 16th chief
Succeeded as chief in 1550, aged seven, only son of William. Brought up by Donald Mackintosh, great grandson of Malcolm Beg Mackintosh, 10th chief. Said to have joined the Munros and Frasers in taking Inverness Castle on behalf of Mary, Queen of Scots in 1562. Fought at the Battle of Corrichie against the Earl of Huntly, later fought in support of Huntly at the Battle of Langside. First chief to be buried at Petty, which became the hereditary burial ground for Mackintosh chiefs. Married a daughter of MacKenzie of Kintail. His younger son, William founded the Mackintosh of Borlum branch.
William Mackintosh, 15th chief
Aged three when his father died, he was brought up by his uncle, the Earl of Moray which led to a feud between the Earl and the tutor Hector Mackintosh, son of Ferquhard Mackintosh, 12th chief. William became chief in 1540, however he was accused by Lachlan Mackintosh, the son of the man who murdered his father of conspiring to kill the Earl of Moray. William was sentenced to death in 1550 but after protests by Thomas Menzies, because of an unfair trial, William is said to have been taken into captivity by the Earl but was never seen again.
Lachlan Mackintosh, 14th chief
Brother of William. Married Jean Gordon, daughter of Alexander Gordon of Lochinvar. Murdered by his nephew, John, son of his half brother, Malcolm in 1524.
William Mackintosh, 13th chief
Succeeded his cousin Ferquhard Mackintosh as chief. Murdered by his second cousin John in 1515.
Ferquhard Mackintosh, 12th chief
Whilst under his father’s chieftaincy, joined Alexander MacDonald of Lochalsh during a raid on Ross in 1491 in a feud against the Clan MacKenzie. Was imprisoned along with MacKenzie of Kintail in Edinburgh Castle in 1495. Ferquhard is said to have escaped but was later captured and imprisoned again until being released after the Battle of Flodden in 1513 where the King was killed.
Duncan Mackintosh, 11th chief
Malcolm Beg Mackintosh, 10th chief
Son of William Mackintosh, 7th chief. Said to have supported Donald of the Isles at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411 where 16th century historian, Sir Robert Gordon states that Mackintosh of Mackintosh was killed but this is thought not to have been Malcolm Beg Mackintosh. Malcolm is said to have been present at the dinner where the Comyns were killed in the Castle of Nairn 1424. Malcolm is also said to have fought in against the Camerons in 1441 where his son Gillichallum Mackintosh was killed. Malcolm’s grandson, “Malcolm Og”, through his fourth son is said to have fought and might have been killed at the Battle of Clachnaharry in 1454.
Ferquhard Mackintosh, 9th chief
Abdicated from his clan and gave up the claims of his sons to succeed as chiefs after just two years as chief. He kept only the lands of Kyllachy and Corrnuvoy in Strathdearn, which his family held for the next two hundred years.
Lachlan Mackintosh, 8th chief
Fought in battle against the Clan Cameron in 1370. To old to fight at the Battle of the North Inch in 1396, where the men of Chattan were led by Shaw Mackintosh.
William Mackintosh, 7th chief
Began the feud with the Clan Cameron and fought against the English at the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346.
Angus Mackintosh, 6th chief of Clan Mackintosh and 7th chief of the Clan Chattan
Brought up by his uncle, Alexander of Isla. Fought against the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, under Randolph, Earl of Moray. His lands of Meikle Geddes, Rait Castle and Inverness Castle were taken by the Clan Comyn. Married Eva, the daughter of Gilpatric Dougal Dall, the 6th chief of Clan Chattan. After Gilpatric’s death Angus became chief of both Clan Mackintosh and Clan Chattan.
Ferquhard Mackintosh, 5th chief
Fought in support of Alexander III of Scotland against the Norwegians. Killed in a duel in 1274.
Shaw Mackintosh, 4th chief
Son of Ferqhuard, 3rd chief’s brother. Acquired the Castle of Rait and the lands of Meikle Geddes.
Ferquhard Mackintosh, 3rd chief
Brought up by his kinsman, Malcolm, Earl of Fife in an agreement with Bishop Moray. Quoted as Senschal of Badenoch.
Shaw Mackintosh, 2nd chief
Received confirmation of his father’s lands from King William. Made Chamberlain of the Crown Revenues.
Shaw MacDuff, 1st chief
Shaw MacDuff is said to have taken the name Mackintosh and was made keeper of Inverness Castle. Son of the 3rd Earl of Fife, said to descend from Ferchar Fader son of Ferndach, King of Dál Riata who died in 697.
Septs of Clan Mackintosh
Adamson, Ayson, Clark, Combie, Crerar, Dallas, Doles, Elder, Easson, Eason, Esson, Glen, Glennie, Hardie, Hardy, Heggie, MacAndrew, MacAy, MacCardney, McCombie, McFall, McIntosh, MacCombie, MacCombe, MacComie, M’Conchy, McGlashan, MacHardie, MacHardy, MacHay, MacKeggie, M’Killican, MacNiven, MacOmie, MacRitchie, MacThomas, Niven, Noble, Paul, Ritchie, Seawright, Siveright, Shand, Shaw, Tarrill, Tosh, Toshach.