The History of Leith

November 16, 2004

The Tale of the Scottish Ghost who outwitted an English Barrister

SIR GEORGE MACKENZIE of Rosehaugh has been described as one of the most distinguished historical figures of the Scottish Bar. Appointed Lord Advocate for Scotland in the reign of Charles II many of his judgements still form the backbone of this nation’s legal system.

Such a man of sterling quality he , like his contemporaries, had little time for such things as apparitions – or witchcraft. Indeed as late as 1678 he wrote ; “That there are witches, divines cannot doubt, since the word of God hath ordained that no witch shall live; nor lawyers in Scotland, seeing our law ordains it to be punished with death”.

A man of both high principle and ingrained habits he always ensured he took a constitutional walk through the streets of Edinburgh before his evening meal. His favoured route was to stroll deep in thought along Leith Walk – then a quiet thoroughfare.

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