Maurice Margarot

1745 - 1815

One of the so-called 'Scottish Martyrs'. Born in Devon, the son of a French wine merchant, Margarot came to Scotland with Joseph Gerrald (1763-96) as leading lights in the Society of the Friends of the People. Having been in Scotland barely a year, the pair were arrested along with William Skirving (c.1745-96) and charged with sedition. Margarot, Skirving and others were tried in front of the 'Hanging Judge' Lord Braxfield (1722-99) found guilty and sentenced to transportation to Australia. Despite a lengthy campaign to prevent what was widely seen as a grossly unfair conviction, Margarot, Skirving and Thomas Fyshe Palmer (1747 - 1802) began their 13,000-mile journey to New South Wales in 1794. Margarot is one of the five 'Scottish Martyrs' commemorated by the Martyrs' Monument in Old Calton Burial Ground in Edinburgh.

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