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George Mealmaker


1768 - 1808

Radical reformer, referred to as the 'forgotten martyr'. Born in Dundee, the son of a hand-loom weaver, Mealmaker took up the same trade. Inspired by the French Revolution, Mealmaker formed the 'Friends of Liberty' in Dundee in 1791 and published a radical pamphlet with Unitarian preacher Thomas Fyshe Palmer (1747 - 1802). In 1793, Mealmaker attended the meeting of the Society of the Friends of the People in Edinburgh at which its leaders Joseph Gerrald (1763-96), Maurice Margarot (1745 - 1815) and William Skirving (c.1745-96) were arrested. However, Mealmaker was able to return to Dundee where his radical activities continued, indeed he was brought before the Magistrates when he urged soldiers not to fight the French but the charges were dropped. However, the authorities reacted when he published The Moral and Political Catechism of Man in 1797 and he was charged with sedition, tried and sentenced to be transported to Australia for fourteen years. He arrived in New South Wales in 1800 and within three years was managing a weaving industry on behalf of the Governor. He was granted a conditional pardon. However a new Governor did not support this industry and Mealmaker turned to drink and soon died.


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