Joseph Gerrald

1763 - 1796

One of the so-called 'Scottish Martyrs'. Born in the West Indies, Gerrald came to Scotland with Maurice Margarot (1745 - 1815) 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. Gerrald returned to London on bail but was tried in 1794, convicted and sentenced to fourteen years transportation. Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville (1742 - 1811), offered the ill Gerrald his freedom if he gave up his views, but Gerrald refused and was shipped to Australia where he died just months later. Gerrald is commemorated by the Martyrs' Monument in Old Calton Burial Ground in Edinburgh.

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