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James Mackintosh


  1. The Morning Chronicle journalist
  2. The Morning Post journalist
  3. Vindiciae Gallicae: Defence of the French Revolution and its English admirers, against the accusations of the Right Hon. Edmund Burke, including some strictures on the late production of Mons. de Calonne has translation author


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As a journalist, Mackintosh wrote for the Gazetteer, the Oracle (as foreign editor), the Morning Chronicle, of which he became joint owner and editor, and later, the Monthly Review and Morning Post. He often sent letter under the pseudonym of 'The Ghost of Vandeput'. He supported John Horne Tooke in his a parliamentary campaign of June 1790. Government opposition to reform prompted Mackintosh, a member of the Whig pressure group, the Society of the Friends of the People, to attack the prime minister in 1792 in his 'Letter to the Right Hon William Pitt', signed "An Honest Man". His letter drew attention to a recurring theme of his political philosophy, that only through significant concessions would violent revolution be avoided. In autumn 1792, Mackintosh accepted a certificate of honorary citizenship from new French Republics' minister on his return to London from a fact-finding journalistic mission in France. In 1803, Addington's (Tory) administration gave Mackintosh a knighthood and post as judge in Bombay. In 1813, Mackintosh was elected (Whig) MP for Nairn and began writing for the Edinburgh Review. He also established many friendships with writers, politicians and poets through the Whig circle centred around Holland House. Towards the end of his life he joined the body that later became the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (R.S.P.C.A.) Mackintosh's renowned learning and eloquence led to frequent comparisons with Cicero, a writer whose work he quoted frequently. See P. O'Leary, 'Sir James Mackintosh: the whig Cicero' (1989) and Christopher Finlay's entry on Mackintosh for the ONDB.