Derived from the Gaelic "mac an tiosich" or "son of the leader or chief" (similar to the Irish "taoseach" or prime minister). The clan claim descent from the royal house of Duff, through Shaw, the second son of Duncan Macduff, Earl of Fife, of the royal house of Dalriada. Shaw was part of a force led by King Malcolm IV which repressed a rebellion in Moray in 1160. Granted lands in the valley of the river Findhorn, the lands of Petty became the centre of clan territory. The 5th chief led his clan at the Battle of Largs> in 1263, during the reign of King Alexander III>. His son was raised by his uncle, the Lord of the Isles and he married the daughter of the chief of Clan Chattan in Lochaber, extending the clan lands to Glenloy and Loch Arkaig. After that, the Clan Chattan, which developed into a loose confederation of independent clans, was usually led by a Mackintosh (though challenged on occasions by the Macphersons>).
The chief and his clansmen supported Robert the Bruce>, particularly against the Comyns and they also supported the Marquess of Montrose> in his campaign on behalf of King Charles I>. 800 clansmen supported the Jacobite cause in 1715. Many Mackintosh clansmen were transported to America after the defeat of that uprising. When Prince Charles Edward Stuart> landed in Scotland in 1745, the clan chief was absent (he was a captain in the Black Watch) but his wife raised men for the Prince's army. During the retreat in 1746, Prince Charles was received by Lady Mackintosh at Moy and the Prince's bed is still to be seen in Moy Hall today.
In more modern times, Charles Macintosh> invented a fabric waterproofing process in 1823 which became the Macintosh raincoat. Charles Rennie Mackintosh> (1868-1928) was an innovative and influential architect, his works including the Glasgow School of Art, Queen's Cross Church and the Hill House in Helensburgh.
The Mackintosh clan motto is "Touch not the cat bot a glove" which is almost identical to that of the Macphersons and Chattan.
Surnames regarded as septs (sub-branch) of the Mackintosh clan include Ayson, Crerar, Dallas, Doles, Elder, Esson, Glennie, Hardie, Hardy, Higginson, Hossack, MacAndrew, MacCartney, MacConchy, MacGlashan, MacHardie, MacHardy, MacKeggie, Mackieson, MacKilligan, MacLerie, MacNiven, MacRitchie, Niven, Noble, Paul, Ritchie, Smith, Thain, Tosh.
MacIntosh was the 68th most frequent surname at the General Register Office> in 1995.
There are Mackintosh clan Web sites here> and here>.
Return to Index of Clans/Family Histories.
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