John Wilkes

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Wilkes, John


Born Oct. 17, 1727, in London; died there Dec. 26,1797. British political figure and journalist.

In 1757, Wilkes was elected to Parliament, where he led a group of bourgeois radicals opposed to the policies of the government. The country at the time was experiencing a series of mass demonstrations by factory workers and artisans who had been impoverished by the industrial revolution. The social turmoil split both the Whigs and the Tories into various opposing factions. In 1762, Wilkes founded a newspaper, the North Briton, in which he printed articles assailing the government; these led to his arrest in 1763. Acquitted of the charges against him in 1769, Wilkes reentered public life that same year as an alderman; in 1774 he was returned to Parliament and elected lord mayor of London. In 1776, Wilkes added to his popularity by opposing war with the North American colonies and by advocating a bill for parliamentary reform. But in 1780 he lost much of that popularity by ordering that a demonstration by London’s poor be quelled by force.

References in periodicals archive ?
The cast includes Chuck Berube as Abraham Lincoln, Sally Howe as Mary Todd Lincoln, and Charles Tower as John Wilkes Booth.
British Foreign Office spokesman John Wilkes described the criticism waged by the British press as 'over-exaggerated.
True, she was a staunch and outspoken Southern sympathizer, and the boarding house she ran on H Street in Washington, DC became a frequent meeting place for John Wilkes Booth and other Confederate zealots.
If they want a body, they can have John Wilkes Booth," referring to President Lincoln's assassin, who is also buried in Baltimore.
She was reliving her ordeal after the robber, John Wilkes, 26, of Peel Street, Thornaby, was jailed for three years and four months at Teesside Crown Court.
The Ballymena-born actor has even prayed on the Bible used to inaugurate Lincoln and has stood on the stage of Ford's Theatre where the former president was shot by John Wilkes Booth in 1865.
The firing of longtime director John Wilkes and acrimony with interim replacement John Wesley White (who resigned in August) have shaken morale at the purple hall and taken a toll on fund raising.
Limited, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7559 6710; Nominated Adviser: John Wilkes, David
One of the most colorful characters of 18th-century Britain, Whig politician John Wilkes employed in his writing a charismatic style and vicious wit that made him a figurehead for the radical cause.
Did Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth spend the last years of his life hiding out in a house in northeast Mississippi?
It cheapens the crimes and names of some of our greatest three-name assassins like John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald,'' said John Lennon's murderer, Mark David Chapman.
Isaac credits two maverick English politicians, William Pitt and John Wilkes, with igniting a spirit of democratic revolution in the early 1760s, and implies that it was in the British North American colonies declaring independence in 1776 that this democratic revolution would triumph.