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Significant Scots

Two very interesting families in Dunfermline, Fife MACKIE and SYME where a member of each of three generations contribute significantly to Scottish literature in prose, poetry and history.

John Duncan Mackie CBE, MC, Hon. LLD (Glasgow) (1887-1978) was a distinguished Scottish historian who wrote a one-volume history of Scotland as well as several works on early modern Scotland. Born in Newington, Edinburgh, John Duncan Mackie was educated at Middlesbrough High School and Jesus College, Oxford where he took a first-class degree in History and won the Lothian Essay Prize. He was appointed as a Lecturer in History at the University of St. Andrews in 1909, aged only twenty-two. While at St. Andrews he introduced the subject of Scottish history into the curriculum. During the First World War, he served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and was awarded a Military Cross. He was wounded in both the stomach and in the shoulder. In both cases he received innovative treatment. For the stomach wound (caused by a machine-gun) he was treated at a military hospital in Rouen. Sterilised water was dripped right through his stomach and he recovered well. The shoulder wound was received in the last days of the war. He nearly had to have his arm amputated but he opted for a new treatment in which the nerv e was knotted. However he never regained full use of his left hand and suffered considerable pain for the remainder of his life. He returned to St. Andrews after WW1, before being appointed Professor of Modern History at Bedford College, University of London, in 1926. He was Professor of Scottish History and Literature at the University of Glasgow from 1930 to 1957. It was during these years that he wrote 'The Earlier Tudors 1485-1558' (Oxford University Press). An influential volume, 'The Earlier Tudors' was a new analysis of Tudor administration - the business of government. In 1957 he retired, and was appointed Historiographer Royal for Scotland. Professor Mackie returned to the Glasgow University in 1961 in the capacity of Emeritus Professor. He died in Marley Manor, Farnhurst, Surrey, England in September, 1978 and was buried at Grayswood Church. His medals are in the regimental museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at Stirling Castle.

The Letters Patent appointing him Historiographer Royal were sent to the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University.

Bibliography for John Duncan Mackie Pope Adrian IV, Oxford 1907 (Blackwells)

The University of Glasgow, 1451-1951: a short history
Negotiations Between James VI and I and Ferdinand I of Tuscany, 1927
Cavalier and Puritan, 1930
Andrew Lang and the House of Stuart, 1935
The Earlier Tudors, 1485-1558, 1952
A History of the Scottish Reformation, 1960
A History of Scotland, 1964

Medal Card

Descendants of David Mackie

John Beveridge MACKIE [1858, Dunfermline-1919, Dunfermline]
Journalist and Biographer

John Beveridge MACKIE, the father of John Duncan Mackie CBE, MC, was born on the 2nd of June, 1848 in Dunfermline, Scotland, the 3rd of four sons of John Mackie and Janet Syme. He was educated at the Free Abbey Academy Dunfermline.

His subsequent career as a journalist comprised the following:

Sub Editor Glasgow Herald, 1870-1877; Managing Editorship of the 'Daily Review', Edinburgh, 1877-1886; Leaderwriter for the 'Newcastle Daily Leader', 1886-1889; Editor of the 'North-Eastern Daily Gazette', England, 1890-1903; Editor and Proprietor of the 'Dunfermline Journal', the 'Dunfermline Express', the 'West Fife Echo'; the 'Rosyth and Forth Mail', 1903-1919.

The Immediate Family of John Beveridge Mackie comprised:

Spouse: Lilias Agnes Robb (1860, Edinburgh -1941, Edinburgh)
Marriage: 26 February, 1885, Wandsworth, London, England Children:
Agnes McMorran Mackie b. 1885, Newington, Midlothian, Scotland
John Duncan Mackie b. 12th January 1887, Newington, Midlothian, Scotland
James Campbell Mackie b. 1889, Newcastle, England
Janet Syme Mackie b. 1891, Middlesburgh, England
Lilias M. Mackie b.c. 1893, Middlesburgh, England

John Beveridge Mackie's publications as a Biographer comprised:

'The Life and Work of Duncan McLaren' (1888) - Two Volumes
'Modern Journalism' (A Handbook of Instruction and Counsel for the Young Journalist) (1894) 'Pittencrieff Glen: Its Antiquities and Legends' (1903)
'Margaret Queen And Saint' (1905)
'The Modern Member: Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman' (1914)

Syme Descendants

Book List


Local Musings by Henry Syme (1876)
Margaret Queen and Saint by J. B. Mackie (1905)
Modern Journalism
A Handbook of Instruction and Counsel for the Young Journalist by John B. Mackie (1894)
Pittencrief Glen
Its Antiquities, History, and Legends by John B. Mackie (1904)

The Model Member
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Forty Years Representative of the Stirling Burghs
By J. B. Mackie (1914)

The Life and Work of Duncan McLaren
By J. B. Mackie (1888)
Volume 1 - Part A  |  Volume 1 - Part B
Volume 2 - Part A  |  Volume 2 - Part B

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