Four things you should know this morning

IT’S never too early to learn something new, like which house with a bloody past is up for sale and the castle that used to be in Glasgow, plus a couple other things.

A stunning mansion once owned by Scotlands most bloody judge is up for sale. Picture: Savills
A stunning mansion once owned by Scotlands most bloody judge is up for sale. Picture: Savills

A “bloody” mansion is up for sale

The mansion owned by a cruel judge is up for sale.

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George “Bloody” Mackenzie was a judge in the 17th century, known for his harsh treatment of prisoners after the Battle of Bothwell Bridge in 1679, when he imprisoned 1,200 men and women and executed most of them, sold some to slavery and left the rest to die of malnourishment.

The property, with its crow-stepped gables and turrets, is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Picture: Savills

Mackenzie, whose ghost is said to haunt Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, was the Lord Advocate responsible for the persecuting policy of Charles II in Scotland against the Presbyterian Covenanters.

The Scottish Parliament opened 11 years ago

On this day, 11 years ago, Hollyrood finally opened its doors as the new home of the Scottish government. It was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II and was visited over a quarter of a million times in just the first six months.

Glasgow had a castle to rival Edinburgh

Where the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow now is, once stood an impressive castle, which served as the principal residence of the bishops and archbishops of Glasgow.

The Bishop’s Castle had a five-storey keep, a 15ft defensive wall with an entry controlled by a looming gatehouse.

Can you apply a scientific formula to charity work?

William MacAskill, an associate professor at Oxford University, is a proponent of effective altruism, a philosophy that applies scientific reasoning to the often sentimental world of doing good.

His book, Doing Good Better, is an unflinching examination of how some social programmes are more deserving of our time and effort than others.

It also challenges the assumption that all money donated to charity must be a good thing.