Glasgow West End

1820 Rising

2020 sees the bi-centenary of the 1820 Radical Rising in Scotland. Although limited in time and space, some historians regard it as a watershed moment in British history, yet it’s barely known in Scotland let alone anywhere else.

Late in 2018 members of Glasgow West-End and Paisley and District U3As had the idea of a joint local history research project, culminating in a public workshop in 2020. Since then the scope of the project has widened to take in the background to the rising and its aftermath, including its commemoration in song, poetry, plays, memorials and monuments, and Falkirk U3A are now also working on their own research.

Participation has also widened; in addition to members from the two U3As, the project team are contacting History, Genealogy, and Theatre groups in U3As across Scotland (and some in England) as well as external organisations.

The team are liaising with the Research Ambassador and the Shared Learning Coordinator for Scotland, and we follow U3A’s enquiry-led learning approach. All documents are accessible on a shared Google Drive repository, and we share a project library.

The Rising has been claimed as a variety of things – a nationalist rising for independence, a potential revolution, a milestone on the road to universal suffrage, or an agent-provocateur-provoked plot as a cover for savage government repression. By involving a diverse group of researchers across Scotland and beyond we hope to gain differing insights into the period. Why not join us – and use your skills, experience, and insights?

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