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The Honourable Charles Herbert Mackintosh (1843 - December 22, 1931) was a journalist, mayor of Ottawa from 1879-1881, represented Ottawa City as a Liberal-Conservative in the Canadian House of Commons from 1882 to 1887, and from 1890 to 1893, and served as Lieutenant Governor of the Northwest Territories from 1893 to 1898.

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Parentage and Aristocratic Connexions

He was born in London, Canada West in 1843, the son of Captain William Mackintosh, of Wicklow, Ireland, an Irish-born officer posted to Canada with the British Army's Ordnance Department, who later served as County Engineer for Middlesex County, Ontario. Mackintosh's paternal grandfather was Captain Duncan Mackintosh, a Scotsman who had been sent to Ireland with the British Army's Highland regiment during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. After the Rebellion, he bought an estate in County Wicklow, and in 1802, married, at Dublin, Alicia Weldon, who is variously described as being the daughter of Lady Weldon, and a niece of the Earl of Dysart, though which ones are meant is not specified. C.H. Mackintosh's mother was Leonora Sophia (d. 1891), daughter of Col. Dickinson, of Jamaica, British West Indies. Through the maternal line, Mackintosh claimed to be close kin to Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore, one of whose sisters was called Leonora, and one of whose half-aunts, Elizabeth Raffles, married William Carter, Esq., of Jamaica. Paternally, he claimed to be a near relation of the essayist and politician, the Right Honourable Sir James Mackintosh, who was member of the Kellachie branch of the Inverness-shire-based Clan Mackintosh, part of the Scottish Highlands Chattan Confederation. In addition to C.H. Mackintosh's grand, if vague, ties to the ruling class, there is occasional confusion with another Mackintosh author, Charles Henry Mackintosh (1820-1896), a prolific Plymouth Brethren author and evangelist, who was known principally by the initials, C.H.M., which happen to coincide with those of the present subject. Details in this second man's biography indicate that the elder and younger C.H. Mackintoshes were possibly uncle and nephew, or, at least, related (see References).

At any rate, in nineteenth century colonial Canada, these exalted family connexions in Britain and the empire may have played a rôle in fostering Mackintosh's ambitions, and aiding him in his later advancement. Coupled with his innate talents, they may also have served to mark him in Conservative party political circles where, in 1893, Canada's Prime Minister Sir John Thompson clearly viewed him as the more suitable vice-regal candidate over rival fellow Tory, Nicholas Flood Davin, whose own chagrin at Mackintosh's appointment is well-documented.

Education, Journalism, and Public Career

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Training and Journalism

Educated at Galt Grammar School and Caradoc Academy, he first began the study of law but instead, in 1862, entered the trade of journalism. He first served as city editor of the London Free Press, later acting as city editor of the Hamilton Times. He edited the Parkhill Gazette, and served as managing editor of the Chicago Journal of Commerce. During his time in Strathroy, Ontario, he was editor and proprietor of the Strathroy Dispatch. In 1873, he was also elected to the town council of Strathroy, Ontario, and it is interesting to note that at the time this was apparently not prohibited as a conflict of interest in that era of openly partisan journalism.

In 1874, he acquired the Ottawa Daily Citizen, serving as its owner and editor-in-chief from 1874 to 1892. He was owner and editor of the Canadian Parliamentary Companion from 1877 to 1882.

During this period, he won the gold and silver medals during the O'Connell centenary for a prize poem entitled, The Irish Liberator. He was also president of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, Ottawa, in 1879.

Public Life

He served as chairman for the Dominion Exhibition in 1879, and as president of the Agricultural Association in 1881.

After only one year, 1873, on the Strathroy town council, he served as 13th Mayor of Ottawa from 1879 to 1881. Elected as a Conservative, he was returned as a Member of Parliament for the riding of Ottawa City in the Canadian House of Commons from 1882 to 1887 and again from 1890 to 1893. He was unsuccessful in contesting the constituency of Russell, Ontario in the 1887 Dominion election.

He was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the Northwest Territories in 1893, serving in that capacity until his resignation in 1898. During his tenure of the territorial viceregal office, he promoted a great Territorial Exhibition which was opened by His Excellency the Earl of Aberdeen, Governor General of the Dominion of Canada at Regina, district of Assiniboia, N.W.T., on 30 July, 1895. For these services he was presented with an oil portrait of himself in August 1895.

Following his viceregency, he contested unsuccessfully the provincial seat of Rossland, British Columbia in 1900, and the riding of Kootenay, British Columbia in the Dominion general elections of 1900 and 1904, all in the Conservative or Liberal-Conservative interest.

Later career

In 1898, he became Canadian manager of the British American Mining Company, Rossland, British Columbia, later becoming a broker and financial agent in Victoria, British Columbia. In 1898, he sold the Le Roi mining property.

In 1901, on behalf of the miners of British Columbia, he presented two unusual gold nuggets to King Edward VII and, his wife, Queen Alexandra.

Character

The Montreal Gazette described him as

"a tactful, capable and experienced public man"

while the Toronto Telegram declared him to be

"warm hearted, amiable and altogether likeable."

Interests and Affiliations

He was a life director of the Carleton County Protestant Home for the Aged in Ottawa, Ontario.

In politics he was a Liberal-Conservative, being noted as "an imperialist of no uncertain sound", and served as vice-president of the British Empire League in Canada. In religion, he was an Anglican. He was a member of two gentleman's clubs, the Union Club, Victoria, British Columbia, and of the Vancouver Club, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Publications

He was author of the Liberal-Conservative Handbook (1876), and wrote a prize essay entitled Potential Resources of British Columbia (1908). For the Canadian Magazine, he wrote various articles including one entitled, British America's Golden Gateway to the Orient.

Family and Death

Mackintosh married in April 1868, Gertrude Niles Cook, daughter of Timothy Cook, J.P., of Strathroy, Ontario. The couple had nine children: two sons, and seven daughters. One daughter, Gertrude, married Sandford Hall Fleming, son of Sir Sandford Fleming, the inventor of Standard Time, while another, Marion, divorced wife of Alfred Louis Castellain, became, in 1906, the wife of Sir Frederick W.A.G. Haultain, the man her father had appointed as first premier of the Northwest Territories in 1897. Of the sons: the elder, Edward Compton Mackintosh, died of a fever, on 28 January 1901, at Pretoria, while his was serving as a private in the Canadian contingent fighting in the South African War. The younger, Charles St Lawrence Mackintosh, who had served as his father's personal secretary and aide-de-camp when he was N.W.T. lieutenant governor, eventually married Lillie Tupper Cameron, whose mother was the eldest child of Canadian Conservative Prime Minister Sir Charles Tupper, 1st Baronet.

Mackintosh died in 1931 and was buried in Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa, Ontario, alongside his wife who had predeceased him in 1925.

References

  1. Nicholas Flood Davin, The Irishman in Canada, 1877, p. 604
  2. Morang's Register of Canadian Affairs 1901, (1902), p. 311
  3. Hector Willoughby Charlesworth A Cyclopædia of Canadian Biography: Being Chiefly Men of the Time, 1919, p. 56C (C.H. Mackintosh's entry)
  4. Morgan, Canadian Men and Women of the Time, 1912, p. 704, col. 1 & 2
  5. Burke's Landed Gentry, 1855 edition, Raffles family.
  6. Napoleon Noel, The History of the Brethren, 1936, p. 64

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
C.W. Bangs
Mayor of Ottawa
1879-1881
Succeeded by
Pierre St. Jean
Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories
Preceded by
Joseph Royal
Lieutenant-Governor of the Northwest Territories
1893-1898
Succeeded by
Malcolm Colin Cameron

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