John McIntosh (1789 – 1842), was the first Chief Constable of the Moreton Bay police force, which consisted entirely of convicts, from 1828 to 1833. Originally from Glasgow, he was convicted in May 1813 and sentenced to transportation for life, arriving in Sydney on the General Hewitt in 1814. After an unsuccessful term as Superintendent of Convicts in Liverpool, Sydney, he volunteered to relocate to Moreton Bay as a convict overseer. He died in July 1842 while serving as Chief Constable of the Goulburn Police.
Glaswegian John McIntosh, a watch and clock maker by trade, was convicted at Berwick, Northumberland in May 1813 and sentenced to transportation for life. Little is known of his life in the colonies until 1826 when, after an unsuccessful term as Superintendent of Convicts at Liverpool (Sydney), McIntosh was investigated and found guilty of gross irregularities. As a result, he lost his ticket of leave, a form of parole.
Several months later he volunteered to relocate to Moreton Bay, arriving on in February 1826 on the brig Amity. The passenger list recorded the arrival of John McIntosh and his wife (unnamed). He possibly married Christiana Ferris in New South Wales in 1824.
McIntosh became Principal Overseer of Convicts at Moreton Bay and was put in charge of the Agricultural Department. In 1828, he earned another ticket of leave and was appointed the first chief constable of the Moreton Bay police force.
During his time at Moreton Bay, McIntosh was injured on at least two occasions after being attacked by First Nations peoples and was involved in a retaliatory clash with the Nunukul people on Stradbroke Island. McIntosh was also not popular with his fellow convicts, one of whom, George Byford, was charged with the attempted murder of McIntosh.
Chief Constable McIntosh remained in Brisbane until 1833 when he petitioned for replacement and leave to return to Sydney. He was replaced by Richard Bottington in late 1833, and in 1836 the first non-convict police officer, William Whyte, was appointed chief constable.
On his return to New South Wales, McIntosh joined the Goulburn Police where he was again appointed chief constable. John McIntosh died prematurely on 6 July 1842 when he was thrown from his gig passing through the Tourang Stockade on his way to Sydney.
Anastasia Dukova, ‘John McIntosh (1789 – 1842)’, Harry Gentle Resource Centre, Griffith University, 2018 (updated 2023), https://harrygentle.griffith.edu.au/life-stories/john-mcintosh/.
A2 Series [microfilm], Reel A2.1 (multiple references to John McIntosh and his wife under the names McIntosh and Mackintosh).
Marriage of John Mackintosh [sic] and Christiana Farris [sic], St John's, Church of England, Parramatta, NSW, 1824, Reg.No. 3318/1824 V18243318 3B.
Government notice, Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 16 Jan 1826, p. 1.
Awful state of Norfolk Island and Moreton Bay, Sydney Monitor, 22 Feb 1832, p. 2.
Domestic intelligence, Sydney Monitor, 10 Mar 1832, p. 3.
VIII. John Mackintosh, chief constable of Moreton Bay, The Colonist [Sydney], 17 Dec 1835, p. 2.
Marulan, Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, 13 Jan 1841, p. 2.
News from the interior, Sydney Herald, 5 Jul 1842, p. 2.
Yass, Sydney Herald, 11 Jul 1842, p. 2.
Death Notice, Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 12 Jul 1842, p. 3.
News from the interior, Sydney Herald, 14 Jul 1842, p. 3.
'In the early days' by J. J. Knight, Brisbane Courier, 11 Jan 1892, p. 2.