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Dalmunzie MacKintoshes


As this family first appears in record under the name MacRichie, it may be assumed that one of its ancestors, probably of some note, bore the name of Richard; but this affords no indication of its origin nor does it even remotely suggest a connection with any known family of Mackintosh at the time. Down to the close of the 16th century the name MacRichie is used alone Robert McRichie "of Dalmunzie " and " in Glenshee " in 1571, 1583, 1584, and. 1589, and his son Duncan McCreichie in Glenshee in 1594, D. Mcryche of Dufmonaye in 1595, and D. McRichie in Delivungie in 1597; in 1606 and 1607 the same Duncan is found as D. Mcintoshe alias McCreitche of Dalmungy, while his son Robert appears variously as R. Mackintosh, R. Mackintosh alias MacRitchie, and as late as 1647, R. MacRitchie of Dalmunzie.

His cousin Richard of Ballachraggan is Mackintosh alias McRichie in 1657. The name MacRichie in these cases was perhaps purely patronymical in the case of the first Robert, or it may have been a " tee name " for the particular family of Mackintosh, but nothing definite can be gathered as to the family's original acquisition of the name of Mackintosh. As to the probabilities on this point different views may be held. For example, the name may be thought to have been derived from the Earl of Atholl's thanes (" toiseachs ") of Glentilt in the 14th and 15th centuries or from some ancestor who occupied the position of steward (toiseach) to one or other of the religious bodies holding lands in East Perthshire in early times, or it may even be suggested that it was assumed only after the granting of the band of manrent to the chief of Mackintosh in 1595. But in any of these cases especially seeing that Glenshee was far remote from the Clan Chattan chief's sphere of influence it is difficult to account for the granting of that band and the acknowledgment of Mackintosh as the " natyff cheiff " of the granter unless the latter had believed himself to be bound by ties of birth and blood.

Some slight ground for a belief that such ties really existed may perhaps be seen in the epithet " Cattanach " applied to the son of Robert McRichie of Dalmunzie in a Privy Council entry of 1584 to be noticed later. Further, some presumption of a settlement of northern Mackintoshes in Atholl is afforded, not only by the circumstances already noticed, that Mackintoshes with the alias Cattanach frequently appear in Glenshee writs for more than three centuries past, but also by the fact that a well-known story of the Mackintoshes (alias Shaws) of Rothimurous and the Comyns has long been attached by tradition to Glentilt near the northern end of which Dalmunzie is situated coupled with the consideration that, as history has no trace of any Comyn hold in the district, this story must have been an importation. Its incidents belong to the early part of the 15th century, and the tale of them, while still fresh in the mind, might have been, carried into Atholl, towards the end of that century by a family of Mackintoshes settling there from the north, while in gradually becoming part and parcel of the legendary lore associated with its new home it would only be following a course not unfrequent in similar circumstances.

See also the Mackintoshs of Atholl page of this site.

 A few words on the literary history of the story and on the persons with whom it is associated in Glentilt may not be out of place here, and may not be without some suggestiveness in regard to the origin of the Dalmunzie Mackintoshes. The story is told of Glentilt in Col. J. A. Robertson's Earldom, of Atholl (I - 860) and in Grant's Legends of tire Braes of Mar. The Rothimurcus version was written in 1758 (MS. penes The Mackintosh) by the Rev. Lachlan Shaw, the historian of Moray, who was a native of Rothimurcus, and it is briefly referred to on p. 424 of his History of the Province of moray (1775); it is also told in the New Statistical Account of Scotland (Edin. 1845) under Elginshire, and the whole subject is dealt with in vol. xi. of the Inverness Gaelic Society's Transactions (1885). Briefly, the story is of a slaughter of Mackintoshes by the Comyns in which the only one saved was an infant son, who in after years avenged his family's wrongs and killed the Comyn leader.

The Glentilt version connects the incidents with a family of Mackintoshes who for some generations were tenants of Tiriny, a farm on the right bank of the Fender, a stream which joins the Tilt about a mile from Blair Castle. It does not appear who these Tiriny Mackintoshes originally were. They may have been descended from the ancient thanes of Glentilt, as Skene says they " no doubt" were, and in this case the legend perhaps became attached to them merely because they were the only known Mackintosh family in Glentilt; but it is quite as likely that they were later immigrants into the glen and that they brought the story with them from the north. It is even possible, not to say likely, that they and the Dalmunzie Mackintoshes were of the same stock. However these things may be, the fact remains that the, Mackintosh-Comyn story, relating to events connected with the Mackintoshes in Inverness-shire, has for a long time been told as concerning Mackintoshes in Glentilt, local tradition associating the final act, the killing of Comyn, with the well-known monument known as Mackintosh's sometimes Comyn's Cairn, near the head of the Glen and within six miles of Dalmunzie.

But at present the question of the remote origin of the Dalmunzie Mackintoshes admits of nothing more than conjecture or at most a balancing of probabilities, and it may be that no positive or satisfactory settlement is likely ever to be reached. The only certain facts bearing upon it are that in 1595 the head of the Dalmunzie family acknowledged the chief of Mackintosh as his " natyff cheiff," that he was" called "Cattanach" eleven years previously, and that a traditionary story concerning the Inverness-shire Mackintoshes is found in Glentilt, evidently an importation there, and is connected with a cairn within a few miles of Dalmunzie; but, though meagre, these facts are distinctly suggestive. Whether descended from the northern Mackintoshes or from one of the local " toiseachs," the family whose history is traced in this sketch is found settled at Dalmunzie as early as 1584,* when on the 20th of July {I} Robert McRichie of Dalmonzie "in Stratharle " (sic) and Duncan " Cattanach " his son are declared rebels for not appearing before the Privy Council on some charge not specified.

Five years later, in 1589, just after an abortive insurrectionary movement headed by the Earls of Huntly and Erroll, the Council on 6 May order Robert McRichie in Glenshie-with some of the Drummonds of Blair, Hays of Megginch, and Farquharsons-to be denounced as a rebel for failing to answer " tuicheing the allegeit practize tending to the subversioun of the trew religioun and perelling of his Hienes persone and estate "; but on 7 July following caution is found for him and George Drummond younger of Blair by Andro Haliburton " of Dalmoyis " that they shall appear on the 4th of October.-P.C. Beg. iv. 380, 401.

The charges in these cases were probably connected with a great feud which at the time was raging between the Earls of Atholl and Huntly (see P.C. Beg. vol. iv. passim) ; the former was superior of a great part of Glenshee and Strathardle, and Huntly whose predecessor had also held land there as part of the barony of Fortingall appears to have stirred up some of his rival's tenants and neighbours to give him trouble. He obtained bands of manrent from Menzies of Weem, Drummond of Blair, Rattray of Craighall, and Scott of Abbotshall, the last of whom specially agrees to assist with his tenants &c. of the barony of Downie in Strathardle and Glenshee, which included Dalmunzie and other Mackintosh holdings. See Spald. Club Misc. iv. The Abbots hall band is dated 6 Feb. 1588-9, but Huntly's intrigues with the tenants of the barony seem to have been in progress before that time, as in August 1587 (P.C. Reg. xiv. 366) Atholl complains to the Privy Council of the "injuryes and occasionis of greif ministrat and movit againis" him by George Earl of Huntly, who had "resavit in maintenance" Donald Farquharson his tenant (eldest son of Finla Mor's second marriage, and Huntly's right hand man in Strathdee and Braemar), Lachlan Farquharson "dwelling in his [i.e. Atholl's] heritage " (Donald's brother, and founder of the Brouchdearg family), and Robert McRichie, all of whom " be persuasions of onfriendis had oversene ther duetie " to the complainer. Robert had at least two sons, Duncan, his successor, and John, founder of a family at Ballachraggan to be afterwards noticed.

Click here for more history of the Dalmunzie Branch :
 Dalmunzie Cont.
Dalmunzie 3
Dalmunzie 4
Dalmunzie 5
Dalmunzie 6

Or goto: MacKintosh of Ballachraggan

See also the Mackintoshs of Atholl

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