Lord Braxfield explained why he was sentencing Thomas Muir and the other leaders of the Convention in Edinburgh to be transported to Australia for fourteen years.
The British constitution is the best that ever was since the creation of the world, and it is not possible to make it better. Yet Mr. Muir has gone among the ignorant country people and told them Parliamentary Reform was absolutely necessary for preserving their liberty.
Thomas Muir, writing to the London Corresponding Society from prison on 24th April, 1794.
The spirit of freedom is not extinguished, but still remains its formal energy, in defiance of the artifices and the violence of despotism. Engaged in the sacred cause of Man, individual man is an atom of little value and when he recollects and contemplates the principles of his conduct, should disdain to use the term suffering. Without a vain affection for myself, I disdain the assumption of extraordinary merit. The man who has acted in obedience to the law of his conscience, has simply discharged his duty.