George Smith

1820 Scottish Rebellion – Beyond Glasgow: The Risings in the West

This paper investigates radical activity within the village of Duntocher, the district of Dunbartonshire and the towns of Paisley and Greenock during the period 1819-20. Central to the discussion are the events which took place in the first week of April 1820 and the resultant court trials in the same year. Support for, and the extent of, radical activity across the region is examined and theories regarding radical networks and the transmission of information at this time are discussed. Drawing on direct court room testimony the paper illustrates and explores the fears and actions of both the reformers and the authorities at this period. This includes analysing the perceived threats on Dumbarton Castle and Fort Matilda gun battery at Greenock through contemporary newspaper reports and other source documents to build a picture of the events occurring beyond Glasgow at this period.

George Smith, Independent Scholar