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John Baird was born on September 1, 1790. A weaver by trade, he was brought up in the village of Condorrat. He is best remembered as a radical commander in the "Radical War" of 1820, and along with James Wilson and Andrew Hardie is the best remembered radical combatant in the "Radical War".

Baird had a military career in the British Army, serving in the 2nd Battalion of the 95th Regiment of Foot (known as the Rifle Brigade) seeing military action in both Argentina and Spain. His military experience meant that he was suitable to become commander of the Radicals in their doomed march to the Carron Ironworks.

He was sentenced to death and was executed in Stirling on September 8, 1820 along with Hardie. He is remembered as a martyr to the fight for universal suffrage by many figures in Scotland, particularly the 1820 Society.

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