The closer you look, the more you see

George Rose by Sir William Beechey (1802). NPG 367.

In my last blog post I noted the fact that Macintosh had, over the course of twenty years between 1780 and 1800, “sent [anonymous] sketches of plans of finance &c to persons closely connected with Government in England”. I was intrigued enough to see if I could identify any of these letters and think I may have found one in the papers of the politician George Rose (1744–1818) at the British Library. The finding aid for Add MS 42774 includes a tantalising entry:

f. 78 Louis XVI of France: Anonymous letter from a Scotsman in Paris conc. Anglo-French relations: 1792.

The subject matter, the location, the date, and the recipient all seem to fit Macintosh’s M.O. very closely. I know from another source that Macintosh wrote to Rose at least one other time (in 1800), but I have, as yet, been unable to track that letter down. Indeed, I only spotted the 1792 letter whilst trying to find the one from 1800.

Although I have searched the BL Archives and Manuscripts catalogue many, many times, I was encouraged by this discovery to try again and was rewarded by a few hits that had previously escaped my notice. These include a 1781 letter (Add MS 8406 f. 199) from Macintosh to Charles Jenkinson, 1st Earl of Liverpool, then Secretary at War, and a batch of correspondence from 1796 (Add MS 38231) to and from Charles Flint (1777–1832), Alexander Fraser, 15th Lord Saltoun (1758–1793), and G. Chalmers [most probably George Chalmers (1742–1825)]. It is likely that these letters concern Macintosh’s counter-revolutionary activities in Bern, but I look forward to confirming that in the new year.

The identification of any new correspondence from the 1790s is really helpful, since Macintosh’s own archive fell silent after its seizure by the revolutionary authorities in 1794.

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