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February 17th 1808

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Donald Macintosh of Dunkeld

When Prince Charles landed in Scotland the event was generally welcomed in the Highlands but there was also great support in the north-east where Episcopalianism had remained strong even after ‘The Glorious Revolution’ of 1688.

However, when Prince Charles eventually died, the Stewart succession passed to his brother Henry who in the meantime had become a Cardinal. Now it was one thing to swear allegiance to a Catholic Prince, such as Charles, who promised religious toleration, but quite another to give allegiance to a Cardinal of the Church of Rome. Most Episcopalians chose what they considered to be the lesser of two evils and transferred their allegiance to King George.

However, there were a few Episcopalian families who remained Jacobites. Their religious needs were served by Donald Macintosh of Dunkeld who was able to describe himself as “a priest of the old Scots Episcopal Church and last of the non-jurant clergy in Scotland.”  Non-jurant meant that he had not sworn the oath of allegiance to King George. His ‘parish’ ranged from Edinburgh to the north-east coast of Scotland and must have been extremely onerous. But as time went by he received some very acceptable financial rewards in the form of legacies from his ‘parishioners’.

He was a man of great energy and in addition to his religious duties he found the time to become Keeper of the Gaelic Records to the Royal Highland Society of Scotland. He also collected a large number of books which on his death he bequeathed to the “cathedral city of Dunkeld for the purpose of establishing a public library in Dunkeld.”  There were many interesting Jacobite pamphlets and religious volumes in the collection but because of the difficulties of storage, the so-called Macintosh Library was removed in 1933 to the care of the Sandemann Library in Perth.

It is now in the A.K. Bell Library.

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