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Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh


1636 - 1691

Lawyer and politician. Born in Dundee and educated at St. Andrews, King's College, Aberdeen and Bourges, Mackenzie became an advocate (1659). He was elected a Member of Parliament (1669) and appointed Lord Advocate (1677). As Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, he established the noted Advocate's Library, which as the only remaining copyright-library in Scotland, became the National Library of Scotland in 1925. Mackenzie is however best remembered for his ruthless prosecution of the Covenanters, including Archibald Campbell, the 9th Earl of Argyll (1629-85), which earned him the epithet 'Bluidy Mackenzie'. In the support of King Charles II (1630-85) and the Episcopacy, Mackenzie used the law, while John Graham of Claverhouse (1649-89) used the army.

Mackenzie had a softer side, publishing one of the earliest Scottish novels, Aretina in 1660.

Mackenzie is buried in Greyfriars kirkyard in Edinburgh, not far from many of the Covenanters whose execution he ordered.


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