Famous Last Will and Testament Burglar Deacon William Brodie

About the last will and testament of famous Scottish burglar Deacon William Brodie.


DEACON WILLIAM BRODIE, Scottish burglar, died 1788

Last Will: By day, the deacon was Edinburgh's most respectable citizen; by night, he led one of the most successful burglar gangs in criminal history. His exploits later inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Betrayed and sentenced to hang, he wrote his will in the death cell. Because all of his possessions had been confiscated, he had "nothing else to dispose of but my good and bad qualifications." To a close friend he bequeathed "all my political knowledge in securing magistrates and packing corporations." His landlord received "my whole stock of economy, pride, and self-conceit." His betrayer earned "my dexterity in cards and dice." Finally, "To my good friends and old companions, Brown and Ainslie, I freely give and bequeath all my bad qualities, not doubting, however, but their own will secure them a rope at last." (Which they did.)

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