National Records of Scotland

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Thomas Muir (1765-1798)

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Thomas Muir (1765-1798)

Political reformer

Thomas Muir advocated universal suffrage and other reforms. When war broke out with France he was arrested and tried for sedition. The case was heard at the High Court of Judiciary before five judges including Lord Braxfield and he was sentenced on 31 August 1793 to 14 years' transportation. He escaped from Australia on an American trading ship, survived shipwreck, arrest by the Spanish and the loss of an eye before making his way to France where he was made a Citizen of the Republic. His death, aged 33, was registered in Chantilly and he was buried there. A memorial to him was erected in Edinburgh's Carlton Cemetery in the mid-19th century.

Birth in 1765

Thomas Muir was born on 24 August 1765, the son of James Muir, merchant and Margaret Smith. The entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Glasgow is dated 29 August. The witnesses were Thomas Wright and David Muir, merchants.

Birth and baptism entry for Thomas Muir

Birth and baptism entry for Thomas Muir (14 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 644-1/14, page 267