Lawnmarket Brodie’s Close Royal Mile Edinburgh
WILLIAM (DEACON) BRODIE (28 September 1741 – 1 October 1788), more commonly known as Deacon Brodie lived in Brodie’s Close in the Lawnmarket Edinburgh, where he also had his workshop. William Brodie was a Scottish cabinet maker and Deacon of trades (This is where the name Deacon came from). By day, William Brodie was a respectable tradesman, a Deacon and a member of the Edinburgh Town Council. When evening came he used his skills as a burglar. The money from his crimes was used to maintain his second life, including five children, two mistresses and a gambling habit. He was also a member of the Edinburgh Cape Club founded in the 1700s. The main meeting place was the Isle of Man Arms in Craig’s Close in the Old Town of Edinburgh. A meeting place for the wealthy and nobility where all manner of frivolities would take place. When Deacon Brodie was eventually caught for trying to rob the Royal Mint, he was arrested and sentenced to hang. In 1788 he was taken to the Edinburgh Tolbooth (jail) and hanged by the neck. The Tolbooth is no longer there but is marked with brass cobbles and the Heart of Midlothian. Deacon Brodie’s life inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write the strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. William Brodie designed and erected the gallows in the High Street and was also the first to hang on them. The Gallows are marked with a plaque and cobbles at the corner of George IV Bridge across from David Hume’s Statue. Deacon Brodie’s Grave is in the Apse Church in Chapel Street.
Brodie’s Close where Deacon Brodie Lived | Mannequin of Deacon Brodie
William Deacon Brodie’s House | Deacon Brodie’s Final Resting Place | The Gallows Where Deacon Brodie Was Hanged