ONE of Scotland’s most notorious court cases is to be re-examined to mark the 250th anniversary of the protagonist's birth.

A dramatic reconstruction of the speeches and evidence in the trial of the political reformer Thomas Muir of Huntershill will be staged by the Faculty of Advocates at Parliament House in Edinburgh.

Parliament House is home of the High Court where Muir, an advocate, was convicted and sentenced to 14 years’ transportation in 1793.

Muir, referred to as the "father of Scottish democracy", is one of five men commemorated on the Political Martyrs’ Monument on Calton Hill, Edinburgh.

Muir, born in Milton of Campsie near Glasgow in 1765, had intended to enter the church but decided on a legal career and was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1787 at the age of 22.

Also a church elder, he had a reputation as a man of principle and anti-establishment.

He became a leading figure in reform movements and was arrested in 1793 and charged with sedition.

He was released on bail, and went to France to remonstrate against the proposed execution of Louis XVI.

In his absence, he was declared a fugitive from justice and, as a result, the Faculty expelled him from membership.

After returning to Scotland, Muir’s trial was set for 30 August, 1793, before Lord Braxfield, the Lord Justice Clerk, and four other judges, and a jury of anti-reformists.

Leading historian Sir Tom Devine will be part of the proceedings.

He said: "The trial of Thomas Muir and the guilty verdict which resulted in him being sentenced to transportation in Botany Bay, is one of the most notorious and controversial in modern Scottish history.

"The Faculty of Advocates is to be warmly congratulated on the enterprising idea of recreating this historic event in Parliament House.

"It will have wide appeal to the general public. I am personally delighted to be part of it."

The historian will present a scene-setting lecture, which will be followed by a dramatic presentation of the trial, written by Ross Macfarlane, who has written and directed plays at the Edinburgh Fringe and who is the author of a number of plays which have been performed in New York.

James Wolffe, QC, Dean of Faculty, said: "At his trial, Muir told the jury which convicted him that 'the impartial voice of future times will rejudge your verdict.'

"This event will enable us to understand what happened at Muir’s trial and – with the help of Scotland’s foremost historian, Sir Tom Devine – to put it in its historical context."

The event is on August 25.