30 October 2019
Scotland’s leading historian, Professor Sir Tom Devine, will deliver the inaugural Thomas Muir Lecture to celebrate the life and work of the man known as the father of Scottish democracy.
The first Glasgow Thomas Muir lecture on democracy and civil society will take place at the University of Glasgow on 31 October and is a sold-out event.
The lecture series is named after the 18th century radical ‘martyr’ Thomas Muir of Huntershill who was a champion of political reform was, freedom of speech and voting rights for all. The reform activities of the former University of Glasgow student led his trial for sedition and exile to Australia.
In his talk, 'Foundations of Elite Supremacy in 18th-Century Scotland', Professor Devine will take a fresh approach to Muir and 1790s reformers, exploring why a corrupt and unrepresentative system of government not only survived Muir's lifetime but managed to endure for many years after.
Professor Sir Tom Devine said: “It is a personal honour for me to be invited to present the inaugural Thomas Muir Lecture at the University of Glasgow.
“Muir is a figure in the history of Scotland whom I have long admired for his personal courage, deep sense of principal and unyielding fortitude in the face of adversity.
“The politicians of today would do well to reflect on his life and his qualities both as a man and a reformer.”
The lecture series is a collaboration with the Friends of Thomas Muir Society and the University’s Centre for Robert Burns Studies (CRBS), who have a research interest in Scottish Radicalism.
Professor Gerard Carruthers, the University’s Francis Hutcheson Chair of Scottish Literature and CRBS Director, who is an expert on Thomas Muir, said: “Muir deserves his celebrated place as an apostle of democracy. But I'd suggest that democracy and openness to different opinions is what Muir should best be remembered for.”
The inaugural lecture is taking part at the University as part of the 2019 Thomas Muir Festival.
QUICK LINK: Robert the Bruce lectures at Dunfermline
(image copyright University of Glasgow)
Content continues after advertisements