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17th October

Who is John Wilkes

So who is John Wilkes?

 

John Wilkes was born in Clerkenwell London on the 17th October 1725, educated in Hertford, private tutored and University in Holland.   He was known for being an English politician and journalist, elected as a member of parliament for Aylesbury in 1757.

John Wilkes was a Radical, which was a term given to individuals in the 18th-19th century who were champions of parliamentary reform.  Radicals splintered into several directions, some wanting electoral reform, some wanting the abolition of titles and redistribution of properties.

As well as pollition., Wilkes was a newspaper editor of the ‘The North Briton’ paper. Wilkes wrote in the paper in 1763 a criticism of King George III which led to his immediate arrest. The arrest was possible under a general warrant which enabled detection of persons suspected of libel. Wilkes spent the next few years in exile in France, to avoid prosecution, returning in 1768 where he sort to gain re-election to parliament (from prison). He used his paper to promote himself, putting himself forward as a defender of ancient English Liberties.

Wilkes won re-election Member of Parliament for Middlesex and Alderman of London

Image linked from Wikipedia

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