NT2573 : Deacon Brodie

taken 10 years ago, near to Edinburgh, Great Britain

Deacon Brodie
Deacon Brodie
An advertising figure of one of Edinburgh's best known historical characters and tourist-draws stands outside the close he inhabited. William Brodie was a Deacon of the wrights (carpenters); a respected town councillor by day and a burglar by night. His work took him into the houses and premises of his fellow citizens, providing him with detailed knowledge of the layout of their shops and the opportunity to take wax impressions of their keys. After a series of unexplained night-time burglaries, a bungled raid on the Excise Office in the Canongate in 1778 led to his arrest. Two of his accomplices 'turned King's evidence' and he and his principal accomplice were hanged before huge crowds at the Tolbooth, ironically on a gallows of his own design. He was the direct inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's novel 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'. The schizophrenic aspect of Brodie's life, replicated in Stevenson's fictional character, and the New Town author's own habit of frequenting houses of ill-repute in the Old Town, has generated the clichéd image of Edinburgh as a superficially respectable city that conceals a less salubrious, dark underbelly. NT2573 : Deacon Brodie painting, Bank Street

See also NT2673 : Chessel's Court, Canongate
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NT2573, 5518 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 3 June, 2009   (more nearby)
Friday, 5 June, 2009
Geographical Context
City, Town centre 
Historic site > Historic site   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 255 735 [100m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.9627N 3:11.5860W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 255 736
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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