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TITLE
Excerpt from the will of Captain William MacKintosh
EXTERNAL ID
AB_ROYALACADEMY_003
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
PERIOD
1790s; 1800s
CREATOR
Ewen Weatherspoon
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
496
KEYWORDS
schools
educations
people
wills
scholarships
Excerpt from the will of Captain William MacKintosh

Capt. William Mackintosh was a seafarer who, at the end of the eighteenth century, made a fortune in trading with India and nearby countries. Although Mackintosh left some of his money to the Academy in Inverness, he was educated at Fortrose, and not in Inverness. In 2006, following restoration, a copy of the relevant parts of Capt. Mackintosh's will was once again hung (rather than "pasted up", as he requested) in Inverness Royal Academy.



In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many Highland sons (especially second and later sons) decided to try to find their fortune in foreign lands. The West Indies and India were the two places which attracted most interest from people in the Inverness area. The East India Company had been closed to Scots prior to the Union of the Parliaments in 1707, but thereafter Scots penetrated this trading company to an amazing degree, far above the relative proportion of Scots within the British population of roughly one in ten (as it was at that time), and in some cases Scots were virtually in total control of parts of the Company's activities in India and on the coast of China.



One such person who earned a fortune from this trade was Captain William Mackintosh, who worked his way up the ranks as a seaman, sailing mainly to the West Indies and to India. He first became a captain in 1783, and in 1789 took charge of the East Indiaman Hindustan, sailing twice from Britain to China. For the second of these voyages, the ship was chartered to Lord Macartney on a special embassy [mission] to the Emperor of China in an effort to open up trade with the Chinese, but the efforts proved fruitless. This ship was sold to the Admiralty in 1795 and replaced in 1796 by a new Hindustan, a very substantial ship for its time. On his third voyage to the Far East, Mackintosh was captain of this new ship, sailing to Bombay and China in March 1797 and returning to Britain in October 1798. Both of the ships are illustrated in paintings and prints by artists such as Nicholas Pocock and Thomas Luny, now housed in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.



As was the custom at the time, the East India Company allowed the captain some space on the ship to trade on his own account, and the value of such goods, according to one estimate, might approach £10 000, and it is from this money Mackintosh would have made his fortune. Considering that he gave away several legacies of £5 000 and one of £10 000, his wealth, by the standards of the day, was considerable, at about £40 000. Mackintosh's will, replacing an earlier one or ones, was written at sea in April 1797 on the third voyage. It was written following the "imprudent conduct" of his brother John, who was heavily in debt, "and of another person, to whom I had intended, and had bequeathed very considerable legacies".



After cutting off some of his relations from any money, he made the Chief Mate of his ship one of his executors. The Will then goes on:

... 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, to keep up a respectable though declining clan. It is to be remembered that they are to be educated at the Academy lately established in that town; but if the Trustees think it advisable, on discovering marks of genius, to send any of the boys to a University, they are not restricted from doing it. The said sum of £5000, as soon as it may be expedient, to be invested in lands in the country; and perhaps it might not be improper to paste up a copy of this bequest in some part of the Academy, which probably would stamp an impression, and stimulate similar acts of liberality. ...



It is not the will which caused so much difficulty, but some of the six codicils which were added over the following six years. The first says that Mackintosh had made £10 000 from that third voyage, but he cut out the Chief Mate as a beneficiary, being dissatisfied with his conduct. The second codicil adjusted the amount to his friends and relatives, and then adjusted the sum for education to £10 000, although a Mrs Rae was to get the interest from that money until she died, and thereafter the full interest would be applied to the boys by being vested in lands; in the meantime any surplus from his will could be used for the education of the boys. Codicil 4 cut Mrs Rae out of the will, and the £10 000 was to be immediately used for education.



During 1801 Mackintosh was back in Scotland and met his relatives. He then made various other adjustments to their legacies. It seems that Mackintosh had retired from seafaring on his return to Britain at the end of 1798, and Codicil 6 indicates that he was ill during the early part of 1803. He died in June 1803, soon after his former ship was wrecked on the sands off Margate, on the south coast of England.



Legal proceedings in Chancery held up any pay-out until 1816, and a few years later an Edinburgh accountant was brought in to examine the somewhat doubtful accounts for legal services of Alexander Mundell, the London solicitor handling the legacy. Further legal action between James Mackintosh (a half-brother), the residual legatee, and the Magistrates of Inverness, started in 1817. An action of multiple poinding (an action against a group of people) was raised seeking to get access to the money, with a host of memorials (statements to the court) being produced. In both 1818 and 1821, the Lord Ordinary produced an interlocutor (a temporary opinion, pending submission of all the evidence). The Magistrates then petitioned for a review of part of this latter judgement as it concerned how the boys were to be selected. The arguments went on, and legal fees multiplied, until a final judgement in 1825, which was broadly in favour of the magistrates and which sorted out the order in which the boys were to be selected. It also established that the fund was an educational endowment, not a fund for charitable purposes.



Further difficulty over the interpretation of the Will led to the opinion of Counsel being sought in 1834, 1841 and 1842. The 1841 opinion required the Trustees to keep a family tree of all the descendants of the four families to determine eligibility. Other points at issue included whether education could take place at schools other than the Royal Academy, and what would happen if a family, descended from one of the branches of the family, changed its name to Mackintosh to allow a claim to be submitted.



Meanwhile, the funds which the Trustees now controlled were, as required, invested in land, particularly in the area of Merkinch, now part of Inverness, but at that stage on the north-west edge of the town, and at Seafield in the Longman. From these investments, the Fund was to make considerable sums of money over the years, particularly when house-building started to develop in the Merkinch later in the nineteenth century.



The first pupils funded under the scheme entered the Academy in 1820, following the decision in Chancery, which had allowed an advertisement in the Inverness papers in March 1818. Various records survive of the pupils who benefited from the legacy. The Trust Fund has now been subsumed into the general endowments for Inverness Royal Academy.

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Excerpt from the will of Captain William MacKintosh

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

1790s; 1800s

schools; educations; people; wills; scholarships

Am Baile

Inverness Royal Academy (photographs)

Capt. William Mackintosh was a seafarer who, at the end of the eighteenth century, made a fortune in trading with India and nearby countries. Although Mackintosh left some of his money to the Academy in Inverness, he was educated at Fortrose, and not in Inverness. In 2006, following restoration, a copy of the relevant parts of Capt. Mackintosh's will was once again hung (rather than "pasted up", as he requested) in Inverness Royal Academy.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many Highland sons (especially second and later sons) decided to try to find their fortune in foreign lands. The West Indies and India were the two places which attracted most interest from people in the Inverness area. The East India Company had been closed to Scots prior to the Union of the Parliaments in 1707, but thereafter Scots penetrated this trading company to an amazing degree, far above the relative proportion of Scots within the British population of roughly one in ten (as it was at that time), and in some cases Scots were virtually in total control of parts of the Company's activities in India and on the coast of China.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> One such person who earned a fortune from this trade was Captain William Mackintosh, who worked his way up the ranks as a seaman, sailing mainly to the West Indies and to India. He first became a captain in 1783, and in 1789 took charge of the East Indiaman Hindustan, sailing twice from Britain to China. For the second of these voyages, the ship was chartered to Lord Macartney on a special embassy [mission] to the Emperor of China in an effort to open up trade with the Chinese, but the efforts proved fruitless. This ship was sold to the Admiralty in 1795 and replaced in 1796 by a new Hindustan, a very substantial ship for its time. On his third voyage to the Far East, Mackintosh was captain of this new ship, sailing to Bombay and China in March 1797 and returning to Britain in October 1798. Both of the ships are illustrated in paintings and prints by artists such as Nicholas Pocock and Thomas Luny, now housed in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> As was the custom at the time, the East India Company allowed the captain some space on the ship to trade on his own account, and the value of such goods, according to one estimate, might approach £10 000, and it is from this money Mackintosh would have made his fortune. Considering that he gave away several legacies of £5 000 and one of £10 000, his wealth, by the standards of the day, was considerable, at about £40 000. Mackintosh's will, replacing an earlier one or ones, was written at sea in April 1797 on the third voyage. It was written following the "imprudent conduct" of his brother John, who was heavily in debt, "and of another person, to whom I had intended, and had bequeathed very considerable legacies".<br /><br /> <br /><br /> After cutting off some of his relations from any money, he made the Chief Mate of his ship one of his executors. The Will then goes on:<br /><br /> ... 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, to keep up a respectable though declining clan. It is to be remembered that they are to be educated at the Academy lately established in that town; but if the Trustees think it advisable, on discovering marks of genius, to send any of the boys to a University, they are not restricted from doing it. The said sum of £5000, as soon as it may be expedient, to be invested in lands in the country; and perhaps it might not be improper to paste up a copy of this bequest in some part of the Academy, which probably would stamp an impression, and stimulate similar acts of liberality. ...<br /><br /> <br /><br /> It is not the will which caused so much difficulty, but some of the six codicils which were added over the following six years. The first says that Mackintosh had made £10 000 from that third voyage, but he cut out the Chief Mate as a beneficiary, being dissatisfied with his conduct. The second codicil adjusted the amount to his friends and relatives, and then adjusted the sum for education to £10 000, although a Mrs Rae was to get the interest from that money until she died, and thereafter the full interest would be applied to the boys by being vested in lands; in the meantime any surplus from his will could be used for the education of the boys. Codicil 4 cut Mrs Rae out of the will, and the £10 000 was to be immediately used for education.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> During 1801 Mackintosh was back in Scotland and met his relatives. He then made various other adjustments to their legacies. It seems that Mackintosh had retired from seafaring on his return to Britain at the end of 1798, and Codicil 6 indicates that he was ill during the early part of 1803. He died in June 1803, soon after his former ship was wrecked on the sands off Margate, on the south coast of England.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Legal proceedings in Chancery held up any pay-out until 1816, and a few years later an Edinburgh accountant was brought in to examine the somewhat doubtful accounts for legal services of Alexander Mundell, the London solicitor handling the legacy. Further legal action between James Mackintosh (a half-brother), the residual legatee, and the Magistrates of Inverness, started in 1817. An action of multiple poinding (an action against a group of people) was raised seeking to get access to the money, with a host of memorials (statements to the court) being produced. In both 1818 and 1821, the Lord Ordinary produced an interlocutor (a temporary opinion, pending submission of all the evidence). The Magistrates then petitioned for a review of part of this latter judgement as it concerned how the boys were to be selected. The arguments went on, and legal fees multiplied, until a final judgement in 1825, which was broadly in favour of the magistrates and which sorted out the order in which the boys were to be selected. It also established that the fund was an educational endowment, not a fund for charitable purposes.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Further difficulty over the interpretation of the Will led to the opinion of Counsel being sought in 1834, 1841 and 1842. The 1841 opinion required the Trustees to keep a family tree of all the descendants of the four families to determine eligibility. Other points at issue included whether education could take place at schools other than the Royal Academy, and what would happen if a family, descended from one of the branches of the family, changed its name to Mackintosh to allow a claim to be submitted.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> Meanwhile, the funds which the Trustees now controlled were, as required, invested in land, particularly in the area of Merkinch, now part of Inverness, but at that stage on the north-west edge of the town, and at Seafield in the Longman. From these investments, the Fund was to make considerable sums of money over the years, particularly when house-building started to develop in the Merkinch later in the nineteenth century.<br /><br /> <br /><br /> The first pupils funded under the scheme entered the Academy in 1820, following the decision in Chancery, which had allowed an advertisement in the Inverness papers in March 1818. Various records survive of the pupils who benefited from the legacy. The Trust Fund has now been subsumed into the general endowments for Inverness Royal Academy.