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The 1820 Rising
The Radical War
1820 Rising Chronological Survey

MARCH 1820

? Committee for Organising a Provisional. Government, 28 men, elected by union?. Han to elect officials and begin training. Under ex-soldier and weaver John Baird, Condorrat.

18th Mitchell (Glasgow Police) reports on word from informers.

21st Committee meet Gallowgate. Present - John King, Weaver, Anderston. King leaves early, others later arrested.

22nd Meeting in Anderston. Present - King, John Craig, Duncan Turner, Robert (?) Lees. King reports rising imminent.

23rd Meeting in Rutherglen. Turner reveals plans for Provisional Government. Support pledged. Proclamatiori given to Anderson, printer.

28th Craig and Lees approach printer, Fulton, of MacKenzie’s Saltmarket.

29th Mitchell (Glasgow Police) seeks "some plan" to tempt reformers into open action. Informers have infiltrated committee. Few know of arrests made on 21st March.

30th Lees pays Fulton £1.3/- (£1.15) King and Turner encourage making of pikes.

APRIL 1820

1st Craig collects 1/2 copies of Proclamation. Lees collects remainder at midnight.

2nd Proclamation distributed

3rd Strikes, drilling, weapon-making. Craig attempts to organise march to Carron. Scattered before ambush. Craig fined 5/- (25p). Fine paid by magistrates.

4th Turner organises meeting at Germiston. 60 present. Andrew Hardie leaves with 30 men: carries half card from Turner for Baird King visits Baird - gives half card. Hussars leave Perth.

5th Dawn. Hardie at Condorrat. Baird +5 men join. March to Castlecary. King directs to Bonnymuir leaves to alert supporters in Camelon. Battle of Borinymuir. Lees sends message to Wilson in Strathaven.

6th Strathaven force march to Cathkin. Arrests of Radical organisers.

7th Arrest of Anderson, printer. Sent to Government post in East Indies. Searches for weapons. Strathaven prisoners to Hamilton.

8th Paisley prisoners taken to Greenock - riots - Port Glasgow militia fire on crowd - at night crowd free radical prisoners. 9th Army Units to Greenock.

JULY 1820

13th Indictment of Bonnymuir radicals begins in Stirling.

20th James Wilson put on trial for treason in Glasgow.

24th Wilson sentenced to death in spite of a plea by jury for mercy.


4th Baird, Hardie and Cleland sentenced to death. Cleland’s sentence subsequently commuted to life transportation. 18 other radical prisoners sentenced to transportation.

30th Wilson hung and beheaded at Glasgow Green. 20,000 crowd sympathetic to Wilson.


8th Baird and Hardie hung and beheaded in Stirling.

9th Last TreasOn Trial against the Radicals in Ayr.


11th 19 Radicals taken aboard the hulk Bellerophon at Sheerness to await transportation to New South Wales.


22nd Radicals set sail on Speke.

MAY 1821

23rd Radicals land Port Jackson.

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