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Mackintosh of Farr

Captain Wm Mackintosh, of the Hindustan Indiaman, youngest son of Angus of Farr, bequeathed £10,000 now upwards of £26,000 (about 20 years later) interest of which appointed to the education at Inv. Academy of the boys of four families of the name Mackintosh, viz Farr, Holm, Dalmigaire and Kyllachie, or their nearest of Kin (book of Inverness?) His father was Angus Mackintosh of Farr, who was a young boy and probably boarding at the school in Petty at the time of the battle of Culloden, watched his father grimly head with the other men towards the barren moor. He later wrote that he would never forget the look of desolation on his father's face.

His father had married twice, first to X Russell, then to Emilia Mackintosh of Holm. Emilia's mother, Anna Macgillivray of Dunmaglass had died young after the birth of seven children, and Holm had remarried. It has been written that her father was John Mackintosh who had travelled on the Prince of Wales to set up Darien, as his estates had been forfeited.. With him had been his eldest son John, who had been killed in the Georgian debacle with the Spanish. Emilia's second brother, William, had been left in charge of the family's estate, and on his father's death, after his return to Scotland from Georgia, was designated 'of Holme'.

When Emilia married, her step-son James was young, and she had at least one more child William. The two boys could not have got on, for in later years, William wrote that his elder brother had been cruel and callous. James, as the eldest son, inherited the estates on his father's death in 1746. His younger brother became a successful seaman, the expanding British Empire provided many an opportunity for such adventurers, and like many others, Mackintosh was to make a fortune at sea.

James McIntosh was involved in business, debts and land clearance. He benefited, along with his cousin and neighbour, William MacGillivray of Dunmaglass, from the worsening financial situation of Paul McPhail in Invererney. They squeezed him into a tight corner, and collected his lands in payment. What happened to McPhail, whether he emigrated to America or died in poverty in England or Scotland, is not known.. Farr and Dunmaglass, however, did not think twice before having him on two occasions cast into prison at the Tolbooth of Inverness. Farr and Dunmaglass carved up his lands between them. That Farr was ruthless and unpitying is borne out by the description made of him by his half-brother. His 'elder brother had never been of any service to him' and 'when in want of his aid, he was treated unkindly and harshly'.

Captain Mackintosh left but little to his brother and other relations. 'Having so far done with my relations it is my express will that £5000 be vested in trust with the Magistrates of Inverness for the time being, the interest of which sum is to be appropriated to the education of five boys in succession, to be selected first from the descendants of the family of Farr, next to those of Dalmigavie; and thirdly to those of the house of Kylachy, or their nearest relations, in the above order of consanguinity, but always of the name of Mackintosh; and it may be hoped that some of these boys, if they succeed in life (which this gives them a fair chance for) will follow the example. It is to be remembered that they are to be educated at the Academy lately established; (Academy of Inverness); but if the Trustees think it advisable, on discerning marks of genius, to send any of the boys to an university they are not restricted from doing it. The said sum of £5,000, as soon as may be expedient, to be invested in lands in the county, and perhaps it might not be impropert to paste up the copy of this bequest in some part of the Academy, which, probably, would stamp an impression, and stimulate to similar acts of liberality.'

There were codicils to the will which in fact doubled the amount destined for the education of the boys. William Mackintosh had understood 'a most valuable young woman, Mrs. Rae, sister to Sir George Dallas' was desperately in love with him, and would willingly have become Mrs. Mackintosh 'were it expedient' on the Captain's part 'to form such a connection.' To atone for this lack of expediency, Mackintosh has decided to reward her devotion. 'I leave the above £5000 in trust with the Magistrates of Inverness, added to the £5000 in the first part of this will, intended there for the education of certain boys, the interest of which two sums, making in all £10,000 is to be regularly paid to her (the valuable Dame Rae) during her natural life' and thereafter used for education. ..'but that my will, with respect to the boys, may be put in immediate effect after my death; whatever sum of money may appear over and above the legacies in this instrument, which I expect will be considerable, I will that the interest of such money shall be will be considerable, I will that the interest of such money shall be appropriated for the education of boys, during the life of my dear Mrs. Rae, and after her death, this money, whatever it may be, to be then proportionally divided amongst my brother and sister's children, or the survivors of them, or their heirs; and the £10,000 of which she is to enjoy the interest, to be then finally and for ever secured in lands, as soon as may be convenient for the education of as many boys of the name of Mackintosh as it is adequate to, always observing that they are the descendants of the four families above named or their nearest of kin.'


But poor Mackintosh had been deceived. An unhappy codicil soon followed. 'From a correspondence that I have had with Mrs Rae sometime past when she was at Brighton, I find I have been mistaken, and that the attachment she appeared to show for me, preceded more from the wish of a convenient settlement than from any very particular preference. I therefore revoke the whole of that part of my will relating to her; and hereby direct that the £10,000 of which she was to enjoy the interest during her life, shall, immediately after my decease, be appropriated for the education of boys, as before described.' The will was written at sea in 1797 - the last codicil was added in 1803 - and in the month of June, in that year, probate was obtained by the testator's executors. In the British Library you can access a description of this court case. In brief.

When William died, his brother James and Inverness Academy both sought to overturn the will by proceedings first in Chancery, then in the Scottish Court of Session, and finally by Act of Parliament; James because he was intent on obtaining the interest on the capital, Inverness Academy because it interpreted the will to mean it should educate poor rather than affluent boys of these Mackintosh families. In the event, the funds which should have been mainly devoted to the education of as large a number of boys as possible were used for the physical sustenance of the families of a reduced and already affluent number. As a critic of the proceedings pointed out, Colonel Mackintosh of Farr, William's nephew, was wealthy yet pushing the administrators of the trust for an increased allowance. He had three children at Inverness Academy in 1842 and was principal beneficiary of the trust.

Elizabeth Grant in Memoirs of a Highland Lady, remembers her first ball which took place at Inverness. Although she was clever and attractive, she found some of her young suitors quite irritating. Amongst these was one of these Farr brothers. 'Every joy has its attendant sorrow, every rose its thorn, and I had the persevering assiduities of a very good natured and thoroughly vulgar Mr. McIntosh of Farr quite unable to see that his company was disagreeable. In no way could I escape two or three dances with this forward young man, to my most extreme annoyance, and, as it seemed to me, the very unreasonable delight of my new friend, M. McKenzie of Applecross.

The 'thoroughly vulgar' Mackintosh of Farr was probably James who did in fact marry. A younger brother was Simon Fraser Mackintosh never did. He was a lawyer and put together the genealogy of different Mackintosh branches - these two bound volumes are today kept in the Manuscripts Department of the NLS. These Farr boys are the sons of James McIntosh of Farr and Catherine Macgillivray, and half-nephews of Capt William Mackintosh of Farr above.