'We have achieved a great duty in these critical times…we have been the first to revive the spirit of our country and give it a national existence’ (Thomas Muir, 1798)
“I have devoted myself to the cause of the people. It is a good cause. It shall ultimately prevail. It shall finally triumph”. (Thomas Muir spoken from the dock in 1793)
The Thomas Muir Lecture 2017 with Tommy Sheppard.
The lecture series was initiated by Elaine Henry and Tarlochan Gata Aura of Word Power books and is now continued by the Thomas Muir Memorial Committee. The lecture series is dedicated to the ideals of democracy, liberty and human rights.
Muir was born on 24th of August 1765. He led the first popular movement in Scotland for parliamentary reform and universal suffrage in 1792 and was punished with arrest and conviction for sedition and sentenced to transportation to the newly-established penal colony in New South Wales. He is becoming recognised as the father of Scottish democracy and was Australia’s first political prisoner.
Tommy Sheppard is the MP for Edinburgh East and is on the the National Council of the Scottish Independence Convention and the board of Common Weal. He was Assistant General Secretary of the Labour Party under John Smith and founder of the hugely successful Stand Comedy Club.
The evening included a book signing by Murray Armstrong, author of The Liberty Tree: The Stirring Story of Thomas Muir and Scotland’s First Fight for Democracy and wine reception following the lecture.
The Thomas Muir Memorial Lecture took place on Thursday 24 August 2017 at St Mary’s Cathedral, Palmerston Place.