Junius

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Junius,

English political author, known only by the signature Junius, which he signed to various letters written to the London Public Advertiser from Jan., 1769, to Jan., 1772, attacking George III and his ministers. The letters, centering on John WilkesWilkes, John,
1727–97, English politician and journalist. He studied at the Univ. of Leiden, returned to England in 1746, and purchased (1757) a seat in Parliament.
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 and the controversy over the Middlesex election, were written by a passionate opponent of the government familiar with secret government matters. Junius used scandal and invective rather than argument as his major tools of attack. The letters were reprinted by the publisher of the Advertiser in 1772, and a new edition, with additional letters, appeared in 1812. Although the identity of Junius has never been definitely established, the political beliefs, handwriting, and life of Sir Philip FrancisFrancis, Sir Philip,
1740–1818, British statesman and pamphleteer. He may have been the author known as Junius. He held several minor posts in government offices before being appointed to the council of Bengal in 1773.
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 have led many to ascribe the authorship to him. Arguments have also been offered in favor of the authorship of Lord ShelburneShelburne, William Petty Fitzmaurice, 2d earl of,
1737–1805, British statesman. He served briefly (1763) as president of the Board of Trade in George Grenville's cabinet but then became a supporter of William
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 and of Laughlin Macleane, British army surgeon and secretary to Shelburne.
References in periodicals archive ?
In London he found himself in the midst of a controversy over the authorship of the Letters of Junius (1768-72) and over the recalcitrant American colonies.
He was an ardent enemy of the Tory government, and the Letters of Junius have sometimes been attributed to him.