Paisley’s Radical Uprising of 1820

Mary McCabe, co-convenor of our P4Indy National Group writes:

Many of you will have heard of the Radical Wars which swept across West Central Scotland in the early 19th century and which culminated in the 1820 Scottish Uprising. This is a little-known episode of Scottish history, with the reports of what happened suppressed at the time and to some extent suppressed ever since. 

Because 2020 is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bonnymuir and the trials, executions and transportations which followed, there had been lots of plans this year to stage commemorative events in local communities. These have mostly fallen foul of Covid-19 and the lockdown. 

The aims of the Radicals were political as well as economic and included better wages for weavers, the universal male franchise and independence for Scotland. The play is performed (there are folk-songs as well as drama) by senior citizens. 

Here is the link to the audio play:

This tells what happened in Paisley at that time. Paisley was the centre of the weaving industry and is proud of the fact that the Riot Act was read there more often than in any other town! Their inaugural Book Festival which took place in February – just before the lockdown – was based on their revolutionary past.

The podcast lasts 30 minutes and was produced by Paisley and Glasgow West End University of the Third Age. 

Hope you’re all keeping safe and well.