Thomas Muir Scotland France Australia Spain

Biography of Thomas Muir

Thomas Muir, MA 1782, GUA26676  p.46
Thomas Muir, MA 1782, GUA26676 p.46

Thomas Muir (1765-1799) was a graduate of the University who was convicted of sedition and transported to Australia.

Born in Glasgow, Muir began attending classes at the University from 1777, graduating MA in April 1782. He continued his studies in Law, and left the University in 1785 after being disciplined for supporting efforts to reform the University.

Muir was an Advocate in Law and became Vice President of the Association of the Friends of the People, an organisation set up in Edinburgh in 1792 to advocate political reform. In 1793 he was arrested for sedition but released on bail. He travelled to London, France and Dublin and was re-arrested on his return. At his trial, he was found guilty of making seditious speeches, of promoting seditious publications and publicly reading out seditious writings such as an address of the revolutionary United Irishmen to the people of Scotland. He was sentenced to serve fourteen years at the penal colony in Botany Bay.

In 1796, Muir escaped from Australia on an American ship. After many adventures he was imprisoned in Spain and then released to live for the rest of his days in France.


Archival Materials

  • GUA26676 Register of the Master of Arts 1764-1888
  • GUA26678 Album Universitatis - matriculation album 1756-1809


Thomas Muir
Political Activist

Born 24 August 1765, Glasgow, Scotland.
Died 25 January 1799.
GU Degree: MA, 1782; Arts,
University Link: Graduate
Occupation categories: political activists
Search for this person in the DNB
English snippet: Arts graduate of the University of Glasgow in 1782; 18th-cnetury political reformer
Record last updated: 8th Apr 2015

Country Associations

Scotland Scotland
Place of Birth

France France, Chantilly
Place of Death

Australia Australia, Botany Bay

Spain Spain, No Region

University Connections

University Roles