The material is composed of: an undated letter possibly to the Rev. A. Alison; letters to Miss Anna Munro Ross, 1792-1812; and a letter to 'my dear Henry' about a specimen of his handwriting, and modern philosophy, 1820.
Letters of Henry Mackenzie (1745-1831)
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- ReferenceGB 237 Coll-422
- Dates of Creation1792-1820
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical Description4 letters.
- LocationDc.3.99/13, f.3; Gen. 301/3; Gen. 1732; Gen. 1982/41
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Henry Mackenzie was born in Edinburgh on 26 August 1745. He was educated at the Royal High School in the city, and he studied at Edinburgh University. He worked for an Edinburgh solicitor, acquiring a knowledge of exchequer business, then in 1765 went to London to study English exchequer practice. When he returned to Edinburgh he became the partner of his former employer, George Inglis of Redhall, Attorney for the Crown in Scotland. Mackenzie would eventually succeed to this office himself. Mackenzie began writing, and produced at first anonymously The man of feeling (1771), followed by The man of the world (1773) also anonymously. He also successfully produced a tragedy, The Prince of Tunis (1773), and his other plays included Shipwreck (1783), The force of fashion, a comedy (1789), and White hypocrite (1789). Mackenzie was also responsible for the setting up of the periodical, the Mirror, selections from which were published in London in 1826. Mackenzie was a friend of David Hume, and of Sir Walter Scott, and of Sir Humphry Davy, and had been an admirer of Robert Burns. He was one of the earliest members of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and he also wrote anonymously on contemporary politics. Henry Mackenzie died in Edinburgh on 14 January 1831.
Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.
Letters purchased February 1976, Accession no. E76.12.
The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of national biography. Vol. 12. Llwyd-Mason. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1909.
Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.
Other Finding Aids
Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.
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