William Skirving (?-1796) was a highly principled farmer who sacrificed much for his ideals. Active in the political reform movement in Edinburgh, he continued his work after fellow activists were sentenced to transportation. In 1794 he was sent with them to New South Wales. He farmed near Sydney but, distressed by the separation from his wife and children, soon died.
Scottish Martyrs transported
Thomas Muir, Thomas Palmer, William Skirving and Maurice Margarot are sentenced to transportation to New South Wales for their part in advocating parliamentary and constitutional reform in Britain. Their radical ideas are influenced by the French Revolution and, together with Joseph Gerrald who was transported later, they become known as the Scottish Martyrs.