The History of Leith

October 29, 2007

Life and time of Lady Anne Mackintosh

The story of Lady Anne Mackintosht takes us back to the 1745 rebellion and the time of Charles Edward Stuart and the Stuarts last desperate attempt at the throne of Great Britain.

I am going to digress from our story of Leith to tell the story of Lady Anne Mackintosh which was only brought to my attention last month. I was asked by the Jacobite Society to show them the interment of Bishop Robert Forbes who is buried in the Maltman’s Aisle at South Leith Parish Church. However, before going to the Church they wanted me to go to Coburg St Churchyard where according to the records a Lady Anne MacKintosh was buried. Well to be honest I had never heard of this lady and so in the pouring rain I went to Coburg St at the appointed time and met with representatives of the Council as the Society wish to put up a plaque on the fence of the Churchyard. Later at the Church the story of Lady Anne Mackintosh was told and it takes us back to the 1745 rebellion and the time of Charles Edward Stuart and the Stuarts last desperate attempt at the throne of Great Britain.

Charles Edward Stuart landed in the highlands in July 1745 with only seven men, but Lochiel and others joined him and the Prince raised his standard at Glenfinnan in August. He then marched onto Edinburgh, which he took with little problem and after the defeat of General Cope at Prestonpans. The Jacobite army marched into England. When the expected support from English Jacobites failed to materialise and Lord George Murray insisted on turning back at Derby, Charles was stunned. He tried to argue against the decision, which spread to the other highland chiefs, but to no avail, they were convinced that they were going to be slaughtered and so the retreat began which ended on the bloody field of Culloden. Lady Ann comes into the story at this point. Born Anne Farquharson in 1723 she was the daughter of John Farquharson of Invercauld and his third wife Margaret, who was the daughter of Lord James Murray. Later she married Aeneas Mackintosh in 1741 at the age of eighteen at Aberdeen. Aeneas is described as the Captain of Clan Chattan.

By the nature of clanship, most of the Highlanders leant naturally to the legitimate right of the House of Stuart. Mackintosh himself, however had raised and been commissioned to command, one of the governments three new companies of the Black Watch on the 25th December 1744. So, when Charles Edward Stuart appeared the following year, Mackintosh appeared to vacillate in his choice of allegiance but settled ultimately on the House of Hanover. This may have been done to protect the Clan lands should the rebellion fail. Whatever the reason it annoyed his wife and mother who were both staunch Jacobites and it was Lady Anne Mackintosh who raised the clan in 1746 on the return of the Jacobite army from England. She is described as “dressed in a semi-masculine riding habit of tartan trimmed with lace, with a blue bonnet on her head and pistols a her saddle-bow, kindling enthusiasm for the Prince ‘s cause wherever she went”. Although not the only woman connected to the “45” Rebellion she is the only woman on record to have raised a clan. Although she never led the clan in battle this was given to MacGillivray of Dunmaglass. She raised 600 men, retaining half for her own protection against her husband and Lord Loudon’s forces. The rest went onto Stirling to meet the Prince under the command of a Lord Lewis Gordon.

The Clan fought at Falkirk, which the Jacobites won but then decided to move north to solidify and reinforce the army. Later the Prince arrived at the home of Lady Mackintosh at Moy along with 500 troops. It was here that despite all the precautions taken an attempt was made to capture the Prince by Lord Loudon in what was called the Rout of Moy. However the red coats where held up by Donald Fraser and four of Lady MacIntosh’s servants and the prince was able to escape

After Culloden she was arrested but released after six weeks. Details of her life appeared in the “Scots Magazine” of 1746 and in 1763 she became a “burgess freewoman and guildsister”of Inverness. On the death of her husband she moved to Leith. Lady Mackintosh survived her husband by fourteen years and died in Leith in 1787. Her husbands nephew wrote to a clansman announcing her death “this occurred after an illness of five months, she presenting the use of her reason to the last, dying without a sigh” She was buried at the Churchyard North Leith. Unfortunately the monument has somehow been removed sometime in the past thirty years. Which is a pity as this was a connection to a great part of Leith history which includes the names of Lady Bruce of the Citadel, Flora MacDonald, James Macdonald, Lord Balmerino, and Allan Breck Stewart (who was a real person) immortalised in “Kidnapped” and “Catriona” by Robert Louis Stevenson and all connected to the history of Leith.

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