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Happy 252nd Birthday Thomas Muir

August 25, 2014

It’s that time of year again. Happy Birthday Thomas Muir.



As we all know, Thomas Muir of Huntershill was born today in 1765.

Muir was one of the most impressive democrats of his age, and one of the greatest Scots of any age.  He stood in the dock in front of the infamous Judge Braxfield and defended  the rights of people to be governed by their own representatives in an age of Pittite repression that had declared it treasonable to suggest that the unreformed British constitution was, in some Panglossian sense, the best of all possible past, present or future worlds.

Indeed, the collision of Muir and Braxfield offers the spectacle of the very best and the very worst Scotland has to offer.  Braxfield invented a crime called “unconscious sedition” which seems to have confirmed  him in the persuasion that he had the power to hang anybody who looked at him in a funny way.  He believed that only landed interests…

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