Charles Fraser-Mackintosh

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Charles Fraser-Mackintosh (Scottish Gaelic: Teàrlach Friseal Mac An Toisich) (1828 - 25 January 1901) was a Scottish lawyer, land developer, author and Liberal and Crofters Party politician. He was a significant champion of the Scottish Gaelic language in Victorian Britain.

Fraser-Mackintosh was the son of Alexander Fraser, of Dochnalurg, Inverness and his wife Marjory Mackintosh. He assumed the additional surname of Mackintosh by royal licence 1857.[1] He trained as a lawyer and became a councillor in Inverness. He was heavily involved in land and development in the town and was chairman of the Anglo-American Land Mortgage and Agency Co. Using money he made from the construction of Union Street, he bought and laid out the Drummond and Ballifeary estates in the 1860s.[2] Fraser-Mackintosh was also a captain in the Inverness-shire Rifle Volunteers and a J.P. for Inverness-shire. As a lawyer, he had access to many rare manuscripts and documents, and these formed the basis for his own published works on Scottish history.[2] He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.[1] In 1875, he was Chief of the Gaelic society of Inverness.[3]

Fraser-Mackintosh was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Inverness Burghs in 1874 and held the seat until the 1885 general election,[4] when he was returned as the MP for Inverness-shire for the Crofter's Party[5] He was returned unopposed in 1886, but then joined the Liberal Unionist Party, and lost the support of the local Highland Land League, who backed the Liberal Party candidate Donald MacGregor at the 1892 election, unseating Fraser-Macknintosh.[5] He was the only Gaelic-speaking member of the Commons and became known as the 'Member for the Highlands'. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the Crofters' Commission and for promoting the use of Gaelic in Highland schools. His efforts led to the establishment of a Free Library in Inverness in 1883.[2]

Fraser-Mackintosh died at the age of 72.

Fraser-Mackintosh married Eveline May Holland of Brooklands, Streatham in 1876. His widow left his personal library of over 5000 books and journals to Inverness Burgh library in 1921.[2]

Publications[edit]

  • Dunachton, past and present 1866
  • Letters of Two Centuries 1890
  • The Last Macdonalds of Isla 1895
  • An account of the confederation of clan Chattan 1898
  • Antiquarian notes 1897,

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886
  2. ^ a b c d Am Baile Highland History and Culture
  3. ^ Gaelic Society of Inverness
  4. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1977]. British parliamentary election results 1832–1885 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 551. ISBN 0-900178-26-4. 
  5. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 543. ISBN 0-900178-27-2. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Aeneas William Mackintosh
Member of Parliament for Inverness Burghs
18741885
Succeeded by
Robert Finlay
Preceded by
Donald Cameron
Member of Parliament for Inverness-shire
18851892
Succeeded by
Donald MacGregor