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One of these undertakings was the refloating of the unfortunate York Buildings Company, then sunk in a sea of debt. Of this Company he was made Governor, but although his scheme for saving it seems to have been eminently practicable, circumstances proved too strong for him, and he had to suffer not only the failure of his hopes but also the loss of his fortune as well as the spectacle of the financial ruin of his brother and others who had been sharers in his optimism. From this loss he never fully recover but in spite of the troubles and difficulties which attend the rest of his life be found means to repurchase the anc estral estate on its compulsory alienation by his brother, and to retain it intact until his death. Shortly, before that event took place be provided for the retention of the property the family by a deed of settlement, dated 20 Dec. 1804, entailing it first on the heirs male of his brother John's eldest son and next on those of his own father, the Rev. Lachlan and ultimately on his own nearest heirs or assignees whatsoever.
During his palmy period he became a considerable land-owner in Strathardle and Glenshee, and was known as Mackintosh of Ashintully. In 1767 he acquired the feu-righ of the extensive and important property which had belonged to the Spaldings of Ashintully, comprising (1) the barony Ashintully, (nominally a third part of Strathardle), Weirie, Soilzarie, Tomnamoan, Tonifin, Ballachraggan, Pitvirran Easter Downie, " the town and lands of Kirktown commonly called Kirkhillock alias Toinaeblaclian "otherwise Kirkmichael with fortalices, manor places, &c., tenandries and services of free tenants, two free fairs yearly on 29 September and 1 March, and the patronage and teinds of the parish and kirk of Kirkmicliael, all as granted to Andrew Spalding by charter under the Great Seal dated 1 July 1677; (2) the lands and barony of Balmacruchie; and (3) the town an lands of Morcloich or Whitefield, Borland, Dunydea, Wester and Middle Downie, and Glentatnich. The rights to these lands &c. had been acquired by General David Graham of Gorthie at the judicial sale of the Spalding property in 1766, being confirmed by Crown charter of 23 Feb. 1767, and were disponed by him, with a reservation of part of Balmacruchie-on 30 March following to Robert Mackintosh for $8900 sterling , a large sum in those days. Sasine was given on this disposition 13 March 1770. Perth Sas. xxxiii. 259.
Robert also obtained the lands of Meikle Binzean in Glenshee, on disposition by John Robertson of Cray dated 4 Dec. 1769, and the lands in Glenbeg belonging to Colin Mackenzie younger of Finegand, on disposition of 9 Oct. 1770. Do. 147, 479. His hold on these properties was not of long duration, however, for in little more than a decade commenced the financial difficulties which beset him during the remainder of his life, and in 1780-2 the lands were judicially sold for the benefit of his creditors. Robert died at Edinburgh, unmarried, in 1805, in his 78th year, and was buried in Calton Hill Cemetery.
Robert's nephew, Richard Duncan Mackintosh, left a long MS. account of his life' written in 1840 including a copy of his speech at the trial of James Stewart in 1752 and copies of some of his letters which has afforded much help in the foregoing brief sketch of his career and character, and which is well worthy of a place in printed literature. The MS. writer succinctly sums up the character of his subject in a well known line of Horace (Carm. iii. 3) on his title page, and in his dedication to his own only remaining brother, John, of " this memorial of a Relative remarkable for his superior talents and his unfruitful application of them."
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