1820 Society Commemoration

The Radical War, also known as the Scottish Insurrection of 1820, was a week of strikes and unrest, a culmination of Radical demands for political reform under the banner of ‘Scotland Free or a Desert’.   Artisan workers, particularly weavers in Scotland, sought action to reform an uncaring government, gentry fearing revolutionary horrors recruited militia and the government deployed an apparatus of spies, informers and agents provocateurs to stamp out the movement.

The main leaders of the uprising were Andrew Hardie, John Baird and James Wilson who were executed for their actions.  A monument to them stands in Woodside Cemetery, Paisley.

For further info: 1820 Radical War: wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_War


Pictures from the Annual Commemoration at Woodside Crematorium Paisley, pictures taken by Mags MacLaren

Derek Mackay MSP

“press release for more info on the event”

“This is an important part of Paisley and Renfrewshire’s history and I am honoured to be asked to speak at the 1820 Commemoration”, said Derek Mackay MSP (SNP – Renfrewshire North and West).

The Annual Commemoration of the 1820 Martyrs takes place at 12noon (meeting at 11:30am) on Saturday 13th August 2011, at Woodside Cemetery in Paisley.  This event commemorates the actions of three local radicals, who in 1820 gave their lives to the cause of improving the lives of the working class of Scotland.   A wreath is laid at the Martyrs Monument within the cemetery and speeches are given from local politicians.  This year Derek Mackay, the newly elected MSP for Renfrewshire North and West, was asked by the organizers – the 1820 Society – to give the keynote speech.

Derek Mackay MSP said:

“I am delighted and honoured to be asked to speak at this important event.  This commemoration remembers the sacrifices that others made to try to improve the lives of ordinary working people in Scotland and the key role of radicals from Paisley and Renfrewshire in that struggle.

“I have attended this event for many years and have spoken before, but this is a special year following not only the SNP’s historic election victory but also gives us time to remember those who worked towards that success, such as the late Cllr Jim Mitchell.

“Jim Mitchell was one of the key organizers in the 1820 Society and I know many people will be thinking of him during the commemoration.

Also attending the event will be SNP MSPs George Adam (Paisley) and Stuart McMillan (West of Scotland) as well as councilllors including local councillor Kenny MacLaren (SNP – Paisley North West).

Cllr Kenny MacLaren added:

“It is important to remember the struggles of the past to allow us to move forward as a nation.  The Martyrs Monument in Woodside Cemetery highlights an important part of Paisley radical past and one that should never be forgotten”.