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John Wilkes

The son of a Clerkenwell malt distiller John Wilkes (1725-1797) was a radical MP and journalist whose activities caused a series of  political crises in the 1760's. He was renowned in 18th century political circles as a  rake and hedonist but despite this he was able to antagonise the Government and his actions had a significant impact both inside and outside Parliament, leading to legal and parliamentary reform.

This image by Hogarth is a caricature of a man who by his own admission was not blessed with good looks, but whom was portrayed by others with more respect than that displayed here.


John Wilkes Esq


William Hogarth



Catalogue number

WOA 3743