Thomas Muir spent his life fighting for the rights of the poor and the oppressed. Encouraged by the revolution in France, Muir pressed for parliamentary reform in Britain. In 1793 he was charged with sedition and sentenced to fourteen years exile in Botany Bay, Australia. In 1796 Muir arranged his escape to America but he was arrested by the Spanish and terribly injured when his Spanish ship was attacked by the British. Assumed to be dead by the authorities, Muir reached Paris where he was treated as a great hero and martyr. He spent the remaining months of his life trying to persuade the French to help establish a Scottish republic.