Drink a toast to the man who inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but don’t leave him your keys.
A walk down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile will have you passing a Deacon Brodie Pub and a Deacon Brodie Tavern and cafe. The cafe’s ground floor was originally Deacon Brodie’s workshop with the vaulted ceiling in the kitchen dating back to 1420, making it one of Edinburgh’s oldest ceilings.
William Brodie, a deacon, was a town council member by day and a gambler by night.
To pay for his gambling debts, the respectable deacon and town locksmith, who designed Edinburgh’s first gallows, turned to robbery using his knowledge of locks. He was later hanged in the gallows he invented.
Or did he?
The myth persists that he engineered his own escape by wearing a steel collar and bribing his executioner to spirit his body away quickly before it could be detected he did not die.