A National Committee has been formed to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Muir – known as ‘The Father of Scottish Democracy’.
The committee brings together academics, advocates, local history representatives and politicians from various political parties, to celebrate Scottish democracy in 2015.
Thomas Muir was born in Glasgow in 1765 and his passionate campaigning for freedom of speech and democracy was instrumental in sowing the seeds that brought about the jury reform, the universal right to vote and inspired the formation of a whole raft of reform societies which have shaped our nation today.
He is remembered, however, in East Dunbartonshire, with a small museum of memorabilia in Bishopbriggs Library and an annual celebration of his life and work - organised by the Friends of Thomas Muir and supported by East Dunbartonshire Council and others.
A bust and permanent exhibition of Thomas Muir sits in Bishopbriggs Library and the Thomas Muir Cairn stands at the top of Crowhill Road opposite Huntershill House (Muir’s family home).
A full programme of events has been planned for this year by the Friends of Thomas Muir of Huntershill. Some dates and times have yet to be confirmed, but include:
- 7-14 March: John Kay Original Print Exhibition at the Thomas Muir Coffee Shop, Huntershill Village – Part of Local History Week
- 3 March to 2April: Exhibition stand at the Scottish Parliament
- 12 June: Scottish Local History Forum event at St Andrews House
- June-Sept: National Portrait Gallery - Portrait sketch of Thomas Muir by David Martin to be exhibited
- 26 August: National Portrait Gallery- Lunchtime talk and tour - Professor Gerard Carruthers and Professor Nigel Leask
- August: Memorial Thomas Muir engraved window - commissioned by Cadder Church
- September: Reception at the Scottish Parliament
- October: Democracy Walk - A dedication service at the Scottish Political Martyrs Monument in the Old Calton Cemetery, Edinburgh, followed by a formal walk to the Scottish Parliament lead by Milngavie Pipe Band.
- 14-28 November: East Dunbartonshire Schools Art Competition. Theme Thomas Muir portrait - Finalists to be exhibited at the Thomas Muir Coffee Shop, Huntershill – overall winning portrait to be gifted to the Scottish Parliament.
- The Muir Society and Faculty of Advocates events