Mackintosh family

John P. Mackintosh (1868-1920), MNC businessman, was born in Dukinfield, Cheshire, on 7 July 1868. The family moved shortly afterwards to Halifax, where at the age of ten he followed his father into the cotton mill. He was actively involved in the Sunday School, choir and Band of Hope at Queens Road MNC chapel, which his family attended, and met his future wife there. In 1890 he and his wife launched a pastry shop, specializing in home-made toffee. From this small beginning grew the internationally famous Mackintosh's Toffee, produced from a Halifax factory which ultimately employed over 1,000, who benefited from his paternalistic interest in their welfare. There were also branches in Australia and Canada. He remained loyal to his local Queen's Road MNC chapel and was a generous benefactor to the connexion. He became a MNC Guardian Representative in 1896 and was a frequent delegate to the MNC and UM Conference. He also served as vice-chairman of the Halifax Equitable Bank and the Equitable Building Society. He died in Halifax on 27 January 1920.

His eldest son Harold Vincent Mackintosh (1891-1964), first Viscount, was born in Halifax on 8 June 1891. He became a director of the family firm in 1913 and its chairman on his father's death in 1920. Under his leadership the firm expanded, went public in 1921 and acquired A.J. Caley of Norwich in 1932. (The Norwich premises were destroyed by bombing in 1942 and had to be rebuilt after the war. Rowntree Mackintosh became part of Nestle in 1988, with its Norwich factory closing in 1994.) Knighted in 1922, he received further honours for his leadership of the National Savings Movement and other charitable work, including cancer research. As a staunch Methodist he held national office in its Central Board of Finance and the Home Missions Committee, was treasurer of [Entry:87 Ashville College]], Harrogate, president of the National Sunday School Union in 1924-25 and of the World Council of Christian Education 1928-1958. He was made an honorary freeman of Halifax in 1954, created a baronet in 1935, baron in 1948 and viscount in 1958. He was criticized in Methodist circles, and also by the Archbishop of Canterbury, for his involvement in the launching of premium bonds in 1956, despite their popularity and the fact that only the interest and not the sum invested was being risked .

In 1947 the family moved to Norwich, living at Thickthorn Hall, formerly the home of the Gurney family. They were members at St. Peter's Methodist Church, Park Lane. Here Lord Mackintosh played a major part in establishing the University of East Anglia in the 1960s and was appointed its first Chancellor, but died before he could be installed. Among his other interests were cattle breeding, early Staffordshire Pottery (on which he published a book in 1938) and the Norwich School of painters. He was a Member of the Arts Council. He died at Hethersett, near Norwich on 27 December 1964. His wife Constance (1891-1976) shared in his public work, was a JP and a governor of Hunmanby Hall school and served on the Methodist Education and MHA Committees.

His two brothers, Douglas and Eric, were also actively involved in the family business.

  • G.W. Crutchley, John Mackintosh, a biography (1921)
  • Methodist Recorder, 31 Dec 1964; 8 Jan 1976
  • Harold V. Mackintosh, By Faith and Work (1966)
  • D.J. Jeremy, 'Chapel in a business career: the case of John Mackintosh', in D.J. Jeremy (ed.), Business and Religion in Britain (1988) pp.95-117
  • Oxford DNB
  • Dictionary of Business Biography