Tomorrow marks the fifth birthday of On the archival trail of William Macintosh. When I started the blog I imagined this would be a rather more short-lived project—not fast, exactly, just not quite as slow-going as it has proved to be. Unsuccessful grant applications, burdensome administrative duties, and, more recently, all-hands-to-the-pumps parenthood have all conspired to make this, necessarily, a work of slow scholarship. When I return to Avignon in June for more archival research it will be with my family in tow. Life has changed, but my enthusiasm for the project has endured. In some ways, I feel like I’m just getting started.
If all goes according to plan, by the end of the year I should have completed a short paper on Macintosh’s library, a longer chapter on his experiences in India, and a book proposal for what I have been calling (but will almost certainly retitle) The forgotten radical: William Macintosh and the transnational circulation of seditious print in the Age of Revolution. The book proposal really just marks the start of the project’s main phase: two or three years of writing followed by a year or so in production. Unless I am lucky enough to secure a fellowship that would buy me some time for writing, the fifth birthday of On the archival trail… probably marks the project’s midway point. Five years down, five to go!
To mark this midlife midpoint, I return here to the subject of my first blog post: William Macintoh’s will. With the occasional help of others, most recently Dorian Grieve, I have been chipping away at the transcription and trying to identify those individuals to whom Macintosh makes reference. While there is still some work to do, the transcription is now in a fit state for publication:
The National Archives
I William Macintosh a natural born and Loyal Subject of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Esquire now residing in the City of Eisenach and Dutchy [sic] of that name in Germany being in a very advanced Age and infirm of body think it a special duty on me to make some arrangement and disposition of my temporal Concerns however insignificant they may seem at this distracted critical conjuncture of Europe and the Terrestrial World I do therefore declare this present writing to be of the nature and to serve to all intents and purposes whatsoever as my last Will and Testament 1mo I do constitute and appoint Augustus Streiber of the said City of Eisenach Esqre sole Trustee and Depositary (Fides Comis [i.e., fideicommissum]) of all and every the Effects of which I shall die possessed in the said City and of Dutchy [sic] of Eisenach or elsewhere in Germany requiring and Soliciting the nonintervention of the Government or Magistrature directly or indirectly therein and requiring the said Augustus Streiber to give Notice of my decease and of this disposition to my old Friend John Frederick Perregaux Banker in Paris also to Alexander Augustus Le Sieur de Coleville, my son in law at Caen or Vieux-Fume in the Department of Calvados in France and likewise to my Nephew Charles Macintosh Esqre in Glasgow 2do I constitute and appoint the said Mr Perregaux & Le Sieur de Coleville my true and lawful Trustees and irrevocable Attorneys jointly and severally to recover my Claims on the Government of France and other persons in that Empire to receive what is recoverable and to grant Releases for the Same 3tio I enjoin that whatever sums of money my late Brother George Macintosh Esqre of Glasgow or his son Charles or the Executors and Heirs of my said Brother have already or may hereafter adventure for my use together with interest shall be reimbursed and paid the said Mr Perregaux being reimbursed whatever claim he may have on my Succession and lastly I do by this present writing declare my Daughter Mary the Wife of the said Mr Le Sieur and her said Husband to be the Heirs to the Residue of whatever shall be recovered in France or elsewhere for the use and benefit of their three Daurs [sic] Matilda Anna and Emily share and share alike and to their respective Heirs It is my further request of Mr Perregaux that he do burn or otherwise destroy all former letters or Wills committed by me to his Custody being in the nature of last Wills or Testaments [end p. 265]*
In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed and set my seal written with my own hand in Eisenach the thirtieth day of December in the year of our Lord 1807 William Macintosh & signed and sealed in the presence of J[ohann] C[hristian] Roese [1778–1836] C Avenmarg.
Whereas I William Macintosh a natural born subject of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at present residing in Eisenach did upon the 30th day of December in the year 1807 make my last Will and Testament with a duplicate in original one of which I immediately deposited in the hands of Augustus Streiber Counsellor of Legation and Merchant in Eisenach aforesaid and the other I transmitted under a Sealed Cover to Alexander Augustus Le Sieur Esquire in the City of Caen and Department of Calvados in France to remain in that state until my decease in which last Will and Testament I constituted him the said Alexander Augustus Le Sieur and his lawful Wife Maria Macintosh my Daughter my Heirs and for as much as the said Alexander Augustus Le Sieur has lately contrary to the established opinion entertained of him by all persons abandoned his Wife and Family and Country in a manner highly disreputable and offensive without having had the least provocation I hence thought it highly proper and necessary to make this present writing as a Codicil to my said last Will and Testament revoking and annulling to all intents and purposes whatever powers might have or interest I may have vested in him and I do create and constitute my said Daughter Maria sole Heiress of all and whatsoever I may die possessed of in the first place for her own subsistence and the maintenance and Education of her four Children by the said A A Le Sieur named Mathilda [sic] Anna Amelia and Isaure in the manner as expressed in the said Testament it being proper to observer that the name of Isaure was not mentioned in the foresaid Testament as she was not then born and I do authorise my said Daughter to constitute and appoint any reputable and prudent person either in Paris or in Caen to act conjointly with herself for the liquidation and adjustments and finally for recovering and acquitting whatsoever claims or demands I may have in France or elsewhere upon the Continent of Europe and as it is most probable that I shall finish my Earthly existence in this City of Eisenach and considering the late misconduct of my daughters [sic] husband I think it right to direct that such small effects as I may die possessed of in Eisenach may be disposed of by private Sale and not by Auction or Public Sale and it is my further Will and desire that whatever other directions concerning those trifling objects I may leave in writing in the nature of a Memorandum or Letter addressed to the said Mr Streiber may be considered of equal validity as if inserted in the body of my Testament or in this Codicil In Testimony of all which I have subscribed my name and affixed my Seal to this present writing written with my own hand at Eisenach this Eighteenth day of October in the year of our Lord 1810 William Macintosh & Signed Sealed and Acknowledged as a Codicil to my last Will and Testament in the presence of Gottlieb Guillaume Pistorius, Conseiller et Secretaire de la Regence Ducale d’Eisenach. Jean [Johann] Gottlieb Schmid Secretaire de la Regence Ducale d’Eisenach.
Proved at London with a Codicil 13 April 1816 before the Judge by the Oath of Maria Macintosh Wife of Alexander Augustus Le Sieur de Colleville the daughter the Sole Heiress or Executrix named in the said Codicil to whom Admin was granted being being [sic] first sworn by commission duly to administer.
* Note that the third Daur [sic] whom I have distinguished by the name of Emily was baptized by the name of Amelia and is therefore the same Person. W. M.