On 29 May 1820 a special commission of “oyer and terminer” was granted under the Great Seal of England. This conferred royal authority to hear and determine treason trials in several counties of Scotland for those individuals charged with involvement in the ‘Radical Rising’ of April 1820. Based in central Scotland, artisan workers — weavers, shoemakers, blacksmiths — initiated a series of strikes and social unrest during the first week of April 1820. The Rising pushed for governmental reform in response to an economic depression. It was quickly and violently quashed and the subsequent trials and their immediate aftermath ended in September 1820.
Treason Trials: Commission of oyer and terminer, 1820
Credit: Crown copyright, NRS, JC21/1/2 (Link to the Online Catalogue entry)