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Brodie, William [known as Deacon Brodie] (1746–1788), local politician and thief, was probably born at Brodie's Close, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, the eldest of eleven children of Francis Brodie (d. c.1787), a prominent and prosperous local cabinet-maker or wright, whose family had been members of the ...

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Reid, John (1725–1774), thief, was born on 22 November 1725 in the parish of Muiravonside, Stirlingshire, the son of John Reid, flesher, and Joan Dick. His parents being of 'low circumstances' (Boswell for the Defence, 357) Reid was sent, aged eight, to work for a series of local smallholders, from whom he gleaned a rudimentary education. In time he became a flesher (butcher), like his father, and with his wife, ...