In 1792, at the age of seventeen, Thomas Muir abandoned his Divinity studies at Glasgow University in favour of Law. This was also the year Thomas’s father bought property at Huntershill in the Parish of Cadder and Thomas adopted the style of extended name then customary in Scotland and became Thomas Muir, Younger of Huntershill.
When the French Revolution stimulated a desire for parliamentary reform in Britain, Muir associated himself with the radical wing of the movement. He was charged with sedition and stood trial on 30th August, 1793 for "exciting a spirit of disloyalty and disaffection", for recommending Thomas Paine’s "Rights of Man" and for distributing and reading aloud inflammatory writings. Muir defended himself at the trial but was found guilty by Lord Braxfield and four other anti-reform judges and sentenced to fourteen years transportation to Botany Bay in Australia.
In 1796 Muir arranged his escape to America aboard the "Otter". Shipwreck, captivity among Native Americans, detention in Mexico and imprisonment in Havana followed. Whilst returning to Europe he was severely wounded in a naval engagement with the "Ninfa". It was as a result of these wounds that he died less than two years later at Chantilly in France.
Muir's international reputation is undoubtedly secure and East Dunbartonshire Leisure & Culture Trust aims to ensure his reputation at home is equally celebrated and marked.
He is justly remembered as the Father of Scottish Democracy.
For more information on Thomas Muir and the Heritage Trail visit www.thomasmuir.co.uk/heritage-trail.html
Points of interest
This site has been specifically setup for walkers doing the John Muir way. The hosts ARE animal friendly, have toilets on site, fresh water is supplied, they have a rainwater pot wash, fire pits, Undercover cooking area and a small shop. Booking is essential as their campsite is small and has a limited amount of pitches. PRICES are from £6.50per person.
0141 776 2226