Record

CodeNA9453
Dates1745-1832
Person NameMackenzie; Henry (1745-1832); Author
SurnameMackenzie
ForenamesHenry
EpithetAuthor
ActivityHenry Mackenzie was born in August 1745 in Edinburgh, where his father, Joshua Mackenzie, was a physician of eminence. His mother was Margaret, eldest daughter of Hugh Rose of Kilravock, of an old Nairnshire family. He was educated at the High School and University of Edinburgh and was articled to an Edinburgh solicitor, to acquire a knowledge of exchequer business. In 1765 he went to London to study English exchequer practice and on returning to Edinburgh became the partner of his former employer, George Inglis of Redhall, whom he succeeded as attorney for the Crown in Scotland. His first literary work was the novel ‘The Man of Feeling’, published in 1771. It proved extremely popular. In 1773 Mackenzie's rather less successful ‘The Man of the World’ appeared, followed in 1777 by his ‘Julia de Roubigné’. He later edited and contributed to two periodicals, supported young writers such as Scott and Burns, and kept up an extraordinarily varied and extensive correspondence. Mackenzie was a founder member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1783 and participated actively in the Highland Society of Scotland. He also wrote a good deal on contemporary politics. He always published these writings anonymously, but preferment for his Pittite pronouncements came nonetheless, in the form of the post of Comptroller of Taxes for Scotland, held from 1804 until his death. Mackenzie died on 14 January 1831. He had married in 1776 Miss Penuel Grant, daughter of Sir Ludovick Grant, by whom he had eleven children. His son, Joshua Henry, later Lord Mackenzie and Senator of the college of Justice, married Helen, daughter of Lord Seaforth. Another son, William Gordon Mackenzie, was Lieutenant Colonel in the Honorable East India Company in the early part of the 19th century.
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