Mackenzie was a Scottish historian and author, and a leading authority on folklore and archaeology. A native of Cromarty, he was educated at The University of Edinburgh. He taught at Glasgow Academy for seventeen years, before becoming secretary to the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments, in 1913. He held this post until his retirement in 1935, after which he was appointed acting head of the department of Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh. Mackenzie?s publications include editions of the poems of Dunbar and Barbour?s Bruce, and books on Hugh Miller, Flodden, Bannockburn and Arran.