The Strathaven Weaver

The Boo-backit brig near the centre of Strathaven

James “Purlie” Wilson, the Strathaven Weaver, was a local leader of the Radical Movement seeking social reform in early 19th century Scotland. He was tried on trumped-up charges of treason and executed on Glasgow Green on 30 August, 1820. His ghost returns 40 years later to confront a doctor with his own demons.

The watercolour above is of the Boo-backit Brig, which features in The Strathaven Weaver. The watercolour was painted in the 1960s by local teacher and artist, Stewart Frame.

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Don Roberto and the Four Fathers.

I’m proud to claim Don Roberto among my relations. Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham founded the Scottish National Party. He was a passionate advocate of independence for Scotland. His memorial at Gartmore is carved with the words “Famous author, traveller and horseman. Patriotic Scot and citizen of the world. He was a master of life – a king among men.” I really wish I’d met him.

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