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Henry Mackenize Passes Away

Today in Masonic History Henry Mackenzie passes away in 1831.

Henry Mackenzie was a Scottish lawyer and novelist.

Mackenzie was born in Edinburgh during August of 1745 to a well respected family. His father being a well known physician. He was educated at the Royal High School and the University of Edinburgh. After graduating he was sent to apprentice with a local attorney.

In 1765 Mackenzie departed for London to finish his legal studies and on his return went into practice with his former mentor.

For years Mackenzie tried to sell his work, The Man of Feeling with no luck. He even tried to give the book away. Finally Mackenzie published the book anonymously in 1771. This led to issues for Mackenzie when a clergyman from Bath named Eccles claimed he was the author of the book. After Eccles claims Mackenzie's name was announced as the true author, although some people still were persuaded that Eccles was the author.

In 1773 Mackenzie published his second book The Man of the World. The books hero was the exact opposite of The Man of Feeling. The Man of Feeling followed a naive man as he moved to London and fell in with the wrong people, who took advantage of his naiveté. In contrast The Man of the World was consistently a bad individual, especially in comparison to the hero of The Man of Feeling.

In Edinburgh Mackenzie attended a literary society meeting on a regular basis where papers of the day were read. This inspired Mackenzie to produce the periodical Mirror for a year and a half from January of 1779 to May of 1780. In 1785 Mackenzie began a new periodical called the Lounger that ran for two years. The Lounger had the distinction of containing the early works of Robert Burns who also attended lodge with Mackenzie.

In 1776 Mackenzie married Penuel, daughter of Sir Ludovich Grant of Grant. The couple would have eleven children.

Mackenize was a member of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge No. 2 in Edinburgh.