Captain Hugh Macintosh: The Honourable Mutineer
Ratcliffe Highway London Docks; where Hugh Macintosh lived and where he often entertained Mary Reibey in 1821
Tipu Sultan himself. He's probably taking a shot at Lt. Hugh Macintosh from the ramparts of Seringapatam as the British and Native Infantry forces storm the breech
Major Hugh Macintosh is rarely remembered in his own right and occurs almost as an afterthought when the history of the Cascades Brewery or Peter Degraves is mentioned. Apart from being Degraves’ brother-in-law it is sometimes recalled that the two men were partners in the Cascades’ foundation and expansion. It is also occasionally or briefly noted that Macintosh was an ex-officer of the Honourable East India Company’s Army and that he was the co-owner of the ship Hope, which brought him, Degraves, their families, workers and equipment to Hobart. Beyond these small details and the odd scrap of information that appears incidentally in various other sources, almost nothing exists describing the life of Hugh Macintosh; this despite the man’s critical role in the establishment and continuance of what was to become known as the “Degraves’ Empire”. Yet, despite his present historic obscurity, Macintosh was in fact centrally and closely involved with a number of important historic events and personages in England, India, Persia and Australia.
In India, as a Lieutenant Macintosh played an important role in the Siege of Seringapatam which led to the defeat of Tipu Sultan, then as a Captain he fought in the Marathas Wars. Finally he fought against His Majesty's forces in the White Mutiny of the Madras Army against the East India Company
In Persia Macintosh took the role of a General in the Persian Army. He trained Persian troops in European style warfare and led the Persian forces against Russia.
In Australia, apart from building the Cascades Saw Mills and Cascades Brewery Macintosh had along affair with Mary Reibey, whose face now adorns the Australian $20 note. He also provided critical support for Henry Savory who wrote Australia's first novel Quintus Servington.
When he died at the end of 1834 Major Hugh Macintosh was the co-owner of the Cascades Brewery and industrial complex which included saw mills, flour mills and the brewery. He began the Cascades with his brother-in-law, Peter Degraves, in Hobart in 1824. Macintosh was also the sole registered owner of the ship Hope from 1821 to 1826. Without the monetary and moral support of Macintosh neither the Hope nor Degraves would have made it to Hobart Town nor would the Cascades Brewing empire ever have come into existence. Yet, despite the importance of Macintosh’s contribution to the foundation of Cascades, little has been written about him. Even his obituary published in the Hobart Courier on 3rd of January 1835 was brief.
Died at the Cascades on Wednesday 24th December 1834, Major Hugh Macintosh, formerly of H.E.I. Company’s Service, and more latterly attached to the Persian Embassy, aged 58.
Despite the brevity of his obituary Macintosh led a life in every way more rich and varied than that of his business partner, Peter Degraves.
From Mary Reibey's Diary
Friday, 16th February 1821
Called on Captain Macintosh who lives in Ratcliffe Highway he having purchased a ship called the Hope, and intending to take passengers to N.S.Wales. He called a Coach and we went on board she lying in the Canal refitting but she appeared to be longer before she will sail than I wish to stop. I can make no agreement the other half owner, Degraves being on board he also is going out with his family to settle at V. Diemans land wished for all the information I could give them which I did to best of my judgment. Capt Macintosh appears to be quite the Gentleman. We all walked back calling in our way at a pastry cooks shop and taking refreshment we parted and each party went their own way after they giving me an invitation to Dine with them. Went home and Dined after took a walk in the Minories and made some purchases
Officer of the East India Company circa 1810