Charles Fraser-Mackintosh (1828-1901) was possibly the most significant champion of the Gaelic language in Victorian Britain. After training as a lawyer he became a councillor in Inverness and was heavily involved in the development of the town in the 1860s, purchasing and laying out the Drummond and Ballifeary estates with money he made from the construction of Union Street.
In 1874 he was elected MP for the Inverness Burghs as an independent Liberal and remained in parliament until 1892. As the only Gaelic-speaking member of the Commons he became known as the 'Member for the Highlands'. He is best remembered as the driving force behind the establishment of the Crofters' Commission and for promoting the use of Gaelic in Highland schools.
His legal career had given him access to many rare manuscripts and documents which became the foundation for his own published works such as Dunachton Past and Present: episodes in the history of the Mackintoshes., 'Invernessiana', a history of the town and parish of Inverness from 1160 to 1590, Minor Septs of the Clan Chattan, and two volumes of Antiquarian Notes. In addition to his published volumes he contributed many articles to the Celtic Magazine, Highland Monthly, and Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness. His commitment to establish a Free Library in Inverness came to fruition in 1883.
Fraser-Mackintosh's personal library of over 5000 books and journals was left to Inverness Burgh library by his widow in 1921 and can be consulted in the Reference Room at Inverness Library.
If a book listed in the bibliography below is available from the Highland Libraries it will be indicated by a book icon -
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