Certainly, his nickname was political: because of his espousal of the philosophy, if not the sometimes grim mechanics, of the French Revolution. Like many Scots, he was against the old, rigorous feudal system and in favour of an infant and tremulous democracy.
He revealed this in practice when, coming across a West Indian female slave who had been brought, temporarily, to Scotland by her master, he persuaded her to appear before a Glasgow magistrate and be legally declared a free person. She then couldn't be ordered back to the Caribbean by her now ex-master. It took decades thereafter for the 1833 Act of Parliament to abolish such despicable slavery throughout the British Empire. By then, sadly, the Citizen had been dead for five years. But his thinking shows in practical terms the value of Scottish education back then - and not simply for the benefit of the rich or the middle-classes.
The 1560 Reformation had sought, comparatively successfully, to extend formal education to all Scots children. For the Citizen was a simple weaver. Certainly, he built his business up to employ a number of other village men in premises between the Coo Loan (today, Murray Place) and the West End/Main St area.
Craig Heaney, who lives in the Old Dairy in the Coo Loan, has the Citizen's signature on his title deeds as a neighbour of whoever occupied the land prior to the Dairy being built in late Victorian times by the Robertson family - whom some of us remember working for as milk laddies.
The Citizen used his business success not to finesse himself as a middle-class villager - but to embrace the new anti-smallpox inoculation, and then vaccination. And he did so in practical terms, studying how to do so, writing to doctors in Edinburgh, and then inoculating his own son, then members of the village, all of whom survived the then often lethal smallpox - except two families who'd refused treatment. They each lost a member of their family.
The Citizen spent his remaining years in the early 19th century going further afield - to Stirling, St Ninians, Bannockburn and all local villages, even as far as Doune - by foot, and ultimately, vaccinating, thus helping to save over 16,000 people.
There's a lot more to learn about the Citizen, in our Cambusbarron Tapestry, all money from which sales goes into our Cambusbarron Goodwill Fund. Contact CC members for a copy.
It pleased us to persuade the Provost to name the principal prize in Stirling's Provost's Awards after him. These are imminent on Friday 7th November in the Great Hall, Stirling Castle.
Locally, we're seeking finance for a plaque which Craig has agreed to have placed on his gate looking out on to Murray Place - in fond memory of William 'Citizen' Jaffray.