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Wilkes, John

Born: 1725 AD
Died: 1797 AD
Nationality: English
Categories: Director


1725 – He was born this year in London, was educated at Lei den, in Hertford, and also privately.


1747 – He married Mary Meade and so came into possession of an estate and income in Buckinghamshire.


1756 – They separated this year. He was notoriously ugly, being called the ugliest man in England at the time. He possessed an unsightly squint and protruding jaw, but had a charm that carried all before it.


1762 – He was initially a supporter of William Pitt the Elder. When John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Butte, came to head the government this year, he started a radical weekly publication, The North Briton, to attack him, using an anti-Scots tone.


1763 – He was charged with seditious libel over attacks on the King’s speech at the opening of Parliament in issue Number 45 on the 23rd of April this year.


1764 – His opponents were quick to strike back. A manuscript of him was obtained and produced in the House of Lords where it was declared libel. He fled to Paris before his expulsion or trial. He was found guilty, in absentia, of obscene libel and of seditious libel and was declared an outlaw on the 19th of January this year.


1769 – He expected an immediate pardon, which he did not receive; he was also expelled from Parliament in February 1769. He was re-elected by Middlesex in the same month only to be expelled and re-elected in March.


1770 – He was made a sheriff in London.


1774 – He became Lord Mayor.


1780 – His popularity fell from around this year as he became less radical. He headed the forces putting down the Gordon Riots.


1784 – He was comfortably re-elected for Middlesex this year.


1790 – In this year general election he was defeated at Middlesex.


1797 – He died this year.