John Wilkes, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Date of Death

    

John Wilkes

English journalist and politician

Date of Birth: 17-Oct-1725

Place of Birth: London

Date of Death: 26-Dec-1797

Profession: politician, journalist

Zodiac Sign: Libra


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About John Wilkes

  • John Wilkes (17 October 1725 – 26 December 1797) was a British radical, journalist and politician.
  • He was first elected a Member of Parliament in 1757.
  • In the Middlesex election dispute, he fought for the right of his voters—rather than the House of Commons—to determine their representatives.
  • In 1768, angry protests of his supporters were suppressed in the St George's Fields Massacre.
  • In 1771, he was instrumental in obliging the government to concede the right of printers to publish verbatim accounts of parliamentary debates.
  • In 1776, he introduced the first bill for parliamentary reform in the British Parliament. During the American War of Independence, he was a supporter of the American rebels, adding further to his popularity with American Whigs.
  • In 1780, however, he commanded militia forces which helped put down the Gordon Riots, damaging his popularity with many radicals.
  • This marked a turning point, leading him to embrace increasingly conservative policies which caused dissatisfaction among the progressive-radical low-to-middle income landowners.
  • This was instrumental in the loss of his Middlesex parliamentary seat in the 1790 general election.
  • At the age of 65, Wilkes retired from politics and took no part in the social reforms following the French Revolution, such as Catholic Emancipation in the 1790s.
  • During his life, he earned a reputation as a libertine.

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