Saturday, December 25, 2004
Grave of the real life Scrooge lost to redevlopment
|Yes, there was a real "Scrooge". His name was actually Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie and he was nothing like the character in the story. According to The Scotsman
"But the gloaming of an evening in the Capital (Edinburgh), allied with an episode of mild dyslexia suffered by Charles Dickens, has forever associated Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie with one of the Victorian Author's most famous characters.
In life, Scroggie was apparently a rambunctious, generous and licentious man who gave wild parties, impregnated the odd serving wench and once wonderfully interrupted the General Assmply of the Church of Scotland by grabbing the buttocks of a hapless countess.
Dickens, was in the capital to deliver a lecture to an audience of Edinburgh notables. He was wandering the city, killing time before the talk, wehn he visited the Canongate Kirk graveyard. There, as revealed by his diaries, he saw a memorial slab which read: "Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie - meal man."The description referred to his main trade as a corn merchant. However, the author mistakenly translated it as "mean man".
Though he was shocked by the description, it gave him food for thought and two years later, art imitated life - or so the author believed."
The article goes on, a good read. I have to include this last little excerpt, however:
"'Perhaps Scroggie's most delightful claim to fame was the result of his dramatically halting proceedings at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, when he "goosed " the Countess of Mansfield during a particularly earnest debate. "It fairly dampened the proceedings," noted Mr. Clark."