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The MacKintosh Clan owes its roots to the area known as Moray Firth , for it was here that
the name "Mac an Toisich" was adopted. The name means " Son of the Chief or Thane".
History tells us that the Mackintosh line is descended from a junior son of the line of Mac Duff
ancient Earls of Fife. Along the line one of the MacKintosh Chief's married the daughter of the
Chief of Clan Chattan, Eva daughter of Dougall Dall, and with that act the chiefship passed unto MacKintosh and his
decendents, where it remains in the MacKintosh line to this day. Though now the lines of Mackintosh of Mackintosh and Mackintosh of Clan Chattan are seperated and headed by close kinsmen.
The Clan Chattan Confederation is one of the largest and strongest in Scottish history.Among
its many families and sept clans is the "Clan MacIntosh" heritable captains of the Clan
Chattan.The history of the Clan Macintosh begins among the ancient Picts of Scotland.
The Picts were one of the founding races of Scotland.They fought for control of the young
country with the Dalriadians,Strathclyde Britons, and Boernicians. In 844 that all changed
when Kenneth McAlpin unified the crowns of the Picts and the Dalriadians.As he reigned
over the counties of Argylll,Perth,Fife,Stirling,and Dunbarton, he is generally known as
the first true king of Scotland.
The name Macintosh comes from the Gaelic name of "Mac an Toisich", which means son
of the chief,leader or thane . The roots of this distinguished Pictish Clan are to be found in the
area of Moray. Over the years the name has been spelt in many variations Kyntosh, Intosh,
Toshe, Tosh, McKyntosh, McKintosh, McKintoische, McKintock, McIntosh,
McComtosh, McKintowse, MacKyntosh, Mackintosh, MacIntosh, MacKintowse, MacKintoisch
and so on. The clan system was the major stimulus behind the adoption of the "Mac"
names since it is a patriarchal social group with a father (Chief) for its members to follow-
"Mac" literally means "son of".
Though it is possible that, owing to the translation and meaning of the name Mackintosh or
MacIntosh as the current chiefs prefer, there existed a variety of local “Son’s of the Thane or Chief” not
directly related by blood. We do find however, that by the beginning of the fourteenth century most
records for the Mackintosh or MacIntosh families living in the areas of Glenshee, Glenisla, Dalmunzie,
Ballachraggen, Finegand and Cams all show at least an allegiance to the Mackintosh chiefs. Whether
this was as overlord, by means of posting bonds of man rent or by blood cannot be fully documented
and much is based on oral traditions, and to some extent speculation.
The wife of King Malcolm III otherwise know as Malcolm Ceann M’or , was an English princess who bore him
five sons of whom all but one became King of the Scots in their own right. The oldest Aethelred,
or Hugh , Aedh in Gaelic, born 1073, is the first documented Earl of Fife and was also the Hereditary Abbott of
Dunkeld. It is possibly this position that actually barred him from ruling and thus the crown
passed to his siblings. His wife was a granddaughter of Queen Gruoch, Malcolm MacDuff's wife, and the sister
of the King of Moray. Though numerous attempts were made, by the clansmen of the Earl, to
gain the throne of the Scottish Kingdom for his son he resigned himself to being the second man of the
kingdom retaining one special honor, that of having the right to crown the king, known as the Law
of Clan MacDuff. To prove this fact for all to see the arms of the Macduff displayed the red lion rampant
surrounded by a double Flory Tressure also of red, a symbol that would come to be accepted as that
of the royal house and even today is visible as the monarch’s own flag. This design also figures
prominently in the coat’s of arms of both the lines of Mackintosh to this day. It is through this linage that
the current chiefly line of Mackintosh of Mackintosh and Mackintosh of Clan Chattan claims
decent by way of Duncan MacDuff son or grandson of the first Earl.
Surviving records show the earliest recording of the name MacKIntosh to be in Moray, part of
modern day Grampian, where the clan had been established for many years. In 1155 this
clan was a part of King Malcolm Ceanmore's army against the rebels in Moray.
Shaw MacDuff the second son of Duncan, Earl of Fife, first chief of Mackintosh of Mackintosh and
a descendant of Kenneth MacAlpin, succeeded as the third Earl and subsequently suppressed a
rebellion in Morayland , in the year 1163, by the order of, Malcolm IV, the King of the Scots . For this
service he was rewarded with the Constabulary of the Castle of Inverness, the lands of Petty and
Breachley along with that of the forest of Strathdern, in the valley of the Findhorn. It was from this
residence that the local people, speaking Gaelic only, acknowledged him as the “Mac an Toisich”
which in English translates to the Son of the Chief or Thane. Shaw died in 1179 and was succeeded by
his son the second Shaw of the line.
Shaw MacWilliam son of the first Shaw and second chief of Mackintosh was made Chamberlain of
the Crown Revenues in the area of Inverness and Moray by William the King of the Scots and received
a confirmation of his fathers lands. During his reign as chief Shaw MacWilliam acquired important
lands in Rothiemurchus. This Shaw died in 1210 and was survived by his first son Farquhard, the third
chief of the Ilk. Shaw’s second son, William, died leaving one son of his own, the forth of the name
Shaw who succeeded, his cousin Farquhard, as chief in his own right.
Farquhard, third of Mackintosh , was raised by his kinsmen Malcolm the Earl of Fife and was appointed
the Seneschal or historian of Badenoch, by an agreement with the Bishop of Moray. Farquhard sought
an alliance with the Macdonalds by marrying Mora, a daughter of Angus Mhor, Lord of Islay. This
alliance was to be broken years later when the then Mackintosh of Mackintosh took arms, along with his
kinsmen, against the Lord of the Isles. Farquhard died in 1240 and was survived by his nephew, Shaw
MacWilliam’s son , also known as Shaw who became the forth chief in 1240. This Shaw having obtained a
renewed lease of Rothiemurchus in Strathspey, Meikle Geddes and the Castle of Rait , in 1236, added
greatly to the territory dominated by the Mackintosh Cheif and clan. Though records do not indicate the
wife of Shaw they do show that he had at least one son, Farquhard who became the fifth chief and thus
inherited the title and lands upon his father’s death.
By this time the family had grown in sufficient size and stature that upon receiving the titles Farquhard
was elected by Alexander III, King of the Scots, to lead the Badenoch people in a rebellion against the
Norwegians who had been trying to extend their control from the North Isles into the heart of Scotland.
The 5th Chief of the Clan Mackintosh ,Ferquhard, thus joined forces with King Alexander of Scotland
at the Battle of Largs,where they defeated King Haakon of Norway,in1263.
Not long afterward Farquhard was killed in a duel and was survived by his only son Angus who became
the sixth chief of Mackintosh. Upon the fifth chiefs death , Angus, who was in a minority, had little
authority and the Comyns seized Meikle Geddes, Rait and also the castle of Inverness. An act that would
forever ferment animosity between the two families and lead to more then one hundred years of conflict.
With this the MacGillivray chief, fearing domination from the Comyns, sought protection from the Mackintosh
chief and thus aligned these two families together in a bond that would be tested through the following centuries.
Angus Mackintosh, son of Farquhard, and sixth in the line of Mackintosh chiefs, being vengeful against
the Comyns for their seizure of Mackintosh lands, supported Robert the Bruce. The chief of Mackintosh
placed himself under the leadership of Randolph of Moray, in his effort, to force out the Comyns. For his
service Angus was granted the land of Benchar in Badenoch whence the Comyns had fled from Bruce and
his forces under Randolph’s leadership. He was thus styled Angus Mackintosh of Torcastle.
The MacDonald, Lord of the Isles and a kinsmen of the Mackintosh, wishing to extend his influence in the
area, and seeking assistance to help fend off the harassing of the nearby Camerons, arranged for a marriage,
in 1291, of Angus, 6th of Mackintosh to Eva, the only daughter of Dougall Dall sixth chief of Clan Chattan ,and
heir to the titles and estates of Clan. Thus upon his marriage, the Mackintosh chief became Captain of the
Clan Chattan and thus became its seventh chief. He assumed the additional title being “of Torcastle”.
This marriage brought with it considerable lands in Lochaber, and the alliances of the septs of Clan Chattan
such as that of the Davidsons and Macphersons to the Mackintosh chief.
Angus and Eva ultimately had six sons and two daughters of whom the first , William, succeeded his
father as the seventh of Mackintosh and eighth of Clan Chattan. The second son being John , the father
of Gilchrist and progenitor and first chief of the Shaws of Rothimorcus and Tordarrock. Continuing along this
line we find that the Mackintosh ‘s of Dalmunzie, of which this branch will be discussed in a latter chapter,
descend from the third son Angus Og. Of the other children little is known.
Angus added greatly to the families prosperity by gaining possession of the Barony of Moy in 1336 and
later a new lease on Rothiemurchus in the year 1347.Then on February 28,1359 he received a confirmation
of his rights in Glenloy and Loch Arkaig from David II. William soon married Florence the daughter of the
Thane of Cawdor and had two children, a son Lachlan and a daughter Moira. The daughter married Rory
MacAllan Vic Ronald of Moidart. Williams oldest male heir,
Lachlan, eighth of Mackintosh and ninth of Chattan, was the chief who led his clan in the battle against
the Camerons in 1370 however he was to old to fight at the Battle of the North Inch in 1396 and this
distinction went to Ferguhard his oldest son who was chief at the time.
Lachlan's son Ferquhard became the ninth of Mackintosh and tenth of Chattan. He married Jill , the
daughter of Sir Alexander Innes of the Ilk and had at least two sons. It is at this point that the line again
shifts back to a previous generation as Ferquhard's sons renounced the chief ship and it thus passed back to
Malcolm, the third son of William and the first son by the second marriage. Much speculation has been
put forth as to why the chief ship was declined and perhaps it contains a sinister side owing to the political
climate at the time however nothing can be proven.
The Mackintoshes owed allegiance to The Macdonald , Lord of the Isles and for this were
appointed the constables of Inverness Castle. Malcolm, Uncle of Lachlan and son of William
thus became the tenth of Mackintosh and eleventh of Chattan. In 1407 Malcolm, also know as Malcolm
Beg due to his sizable stature, received a lease for his life of the Barony of Moy in Strathdern from the
Bishop of Moray. Within two years of Malcolms succession , Donald MacDonald Lord of the Isles, in seeking
to claim the Earldom of Ross, invaded the north of Scotland. Of the highland chiefs who sided with the
royalist, the Mackintoshes and Macleans were the most important. Being in strong support of the Scottish Kings they
fought at the battle of Harlaw in 1411, north of Aberdeen, where the Lord and his men were defeated by the
Earl of Mar and for his service received a confirmation of the lands of Glen Roy and Glen Spean.
It was in this battle that James the laird of Rothiemurchus, son of Shaw, who was
leader of Clan Chatten in the Rolls of Perth, fell.
The 10th Chief brought out the clan in favor
of the Crown in the Battle of Harlaw where the MacDonalds were defeated.Under the
Scottish King James the third the then chief Duncan Mackintosh received charter to the
lands of Lochaber and Moymore in 1476. Then in 1493 the land of Keppoch and Innerorgan
were added to the Mackintosh holdings.Thus bringing about a feud with the Clan Gordon
that raged for years.
Malcolm’s heir Duncan assumed the chief ship as eleventh of Mackintosh and twelfth of Chattan, in 1464.
It was at this time that Ewen Cameron, thirteenth Captain and Chief of Clan Cameron, along with a sizable
body of Cameron men, joined Alexander of Lochalsh, Clan Ranald of Garmoran and Lochaber, and Clan Chattan,
on the famous raid to the county of Ross, involving the Mackenzies of Kintail, which ended in the forfeiture
of the Earldom of Ross and the destruction of the Lordship of the Isles. The Mackintosh chief thus securing
Inverness Castle and placing a garrison in it. During Malcolm’s tenor as chief the lands of Rothiemurchus
passed to a cousin, one Alistair Mackintosh or Shaw as he later came to be know. Duncan Mackintosh
received charter to the lands of Lochaber and Moymore in 1476. Then in 1493 the land of Keppoch and
Innerorgan were added to the Mackintosh holdings.Thus bringing about a feud with the Clan Gordon
that raged for years.Inverness Castle was repaired and handed over to Alexander, Lord Gordon under the
direction of James IV, and he attained a charter to the area of Moymar and other lands from the
Lord of the Isles, with yet another grant, from James IV, adding Brae Lochaber in 1493.From his
marriage to Florence MacDonald the daughter of the Earl of Ross and Lord of the Isles he had two children.
The only son Ferquhard twelfth of Mackintosh and thirteenth of Chattan did not enjoy his new position for
long . He joined Alexander of Lochalsh , nephew of John of the Isles, in his attempt to recapture the Earldom
of Ross. The forces of Mackintosh and MacDonald spread into Mackenzie territory and were finally defeated
at the Battle of Blair-na-Park, the result of which was the forfeiture of the Lord of the Isles . Ferquhard was
captured and imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, Sterling and then Dunbar from 1497 until 1513. During his
imprisonment he managed to compile the first history of the clan. It is from these documents that much
of the Mackintosh history is taken.
William , son of Lachlan, and acting Captain of the Clan during Ferquhards imprisonment, thus became
the thirteenth of Mackintosh and fourteenth of Chattan. During his tenor, in 1497, animosities between the
Clan Cameron along with Clan MacGregor and the Clan Chattan resumed and this period was marked with
numerous battles and skirmishes favoring both sides in turn. The Cameron insurrection not being finally put
down until 1506. The Mackintosh holdings were again expanded upon having obtained the Barony of
Dunachton in 1502 from Alexander, third Earl of Huntly, from his marriage to Isabel MacNevan, sister of
Elizabeth its co-heiress. Before he and Isabel could bare children he was murdered , in bed at Inverness
1515, by his second cousin John Roy Mackintosh of another branch of the family, he did have however, two
natural, though illegitimate, sons of whom one was Donald Glas and in turn the family
of Balnispeck and Balvaid.
On to MacKintosh History Cont.