Mackenzie, George (1669-1725) (DNB00)


MACKENZIE, GEORGE, M.D. (1669–1725), Scottish biographer, born in Ross-shire 10 Dec. 1669, was son of the Hon. Colin Mackenzie, who was second son of George Mackenzie, second earl of Seaforth [q. v.] His mother was Jean Laurie. He studied at Aberdeen University, whence he graduated together with his brother Kenneth in 1682 (Fasti Aberd. p. 530) and at Oxford, completing his med ical curriculum at Paris. Returning, he graduated M.D. at Aberdeen, and became a member of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh. For a number of years he practised his profession in Edinburgh, giving his leisure to literature, and securing general esteem for his loyalty as a churchman. A victim of overwork, he died at Fortrose, Ross-shire, 28 Nov. 1725.

Mackenzie's chief work, entitled 'Lives and Characters of the most Eminent Writers of the Scots Nation,' published in 3 vols, folio, in 1703, 171 1, and 1722 respectively, is elaborate and ambitious, but occasionally fanciful, and frequently inaccurate. The last volume was dedicated to John Law of Lauriston [q. v.] He also wrote the life prefixed to the 'Works of Sir George Mackenzie (1636-1692) [q. v.], and prepared a genealogical history of the families of Seaforth and name of Mackenzie. A paper by him on the Coatimundi of Brazil is in 'Phil. Trans. Abr.' vi. 653.

[Caledonian Mercury, 16 Dec 1725; Anderson's Scottish Nation; information from Mr. George Stronach, Adv. Libr. Edinb.]

T. B.