A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Mackenzie, Sir George

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Mackenzie, Sir George (1636-1691). -- Lawyer and miscellaneous writer, s. of Sir Simon M., of Lochslin, a brother of the Earl of Seaforth, was ed. at St. Andrews, Aberdeen, and Bourges, called to the Bar in 1659, in 1677 became Lord Advocate, in which capacity he was the subservient minister of the persecuting policy of Charles II. in Scotland, and the inhumanity and relentlessness of his persecution of the Covenanters gained for him the name of "Bloody Mackenzie." In private life, however, he was a cultivated and learned gentleman with literary tendencies, and is remembered as the author of various graceful essays, of which the best known is A Moral Essay preferring Solitude to Public Employment (1665). He also wrote legal, political, and antiquarian works of value, including Institutions of the Law of Scotland (1684), Antiquity of the Royal Line of Scotland (1686), Heraldry, and Memoirs of the Affairs of Scotland from the Restoration of Charles II.,page 252 a valuable work which was not pub. until 1821. M. was the founder of the Advocates' Library in Edin. He retired at the Revolution to Oxf., where he d.