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Book Description
London: T. Baldwin, [undated] 1769. Contemporary full Calf. First Edition. Large Quarto – 12 inches tall. Text near fine. Royal Quarto. Scarce volume with additional publications by Wilkes at the rear. Two volumes in one binding with continuous pagination. Bound in at the rear and all assumed to be written by John Wilkes are: · Number IV of “The Extraordinary North Briton” (Second Edition dated June 3d 1769) page 19 to 24. · A single leaf entitled “To the Inhabitants of Tower Ward” dated December 20 1769. · “The Theatrical Monitor (Number II)” dated October 1st 1768 running to 6pp · “The Report of the Commissioner for Taking, Examining, and Stating The Publick Accounts of the Kingdom. With the Examinations and Depositions Relating thereunto: and the Resolutions of the House of Commons thereupon With Her Majesty’s Gracious Answer to the Resolutions laid before Her Majesty” dated 1712 and Printed for Samuel Keble. 16pp. · “An Extract from The St James’s Chronicle of Saturday December, 1768”. A single leaf. · “New Books Published and Sold by John Cawthorn” “English Liberty” runs to xviii, plus 391 pages. There is no publication date given however its condition and binding indicate that it was printed soon after the letters were written. From Wikipedia John Wilkes [not to be confused with John Wilkes Booth] (17 October 1725 – 26 December 1797) was an English radical, journalist, and politician. He was first elected 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 part in progressive social reforms such as Catholic Emancipation in the 1790s following the French Revolution. During his life, he earned a reputation as a libertine. Born in Clerkenwell in London, Wilkes was the second son of the distiller Israel Wilkes and his wife Sarah (née Heaton), who had six children. John Wilkes was educated initially at an academy in Hertford; this was followed by private tutoring and finally a stint at the University of Leiden in the Dutch Republic. There he met Andrew Baxter, a Presbyterian clergyman who greatly influenced Wilkes' views on religion. Although Wilkes remained in the Church of England throughout his life, he had a deep sympathy for non-conformist Protestants and was an advocate of religious tolerance from an early age. Wilkes was also beginning to develop a deep patriotism for his country. During the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, he rushed home to London to join a Loyal Association and readied to defend the capital. Once the rebellion had ended after the Battle of Culloden, Wilkes returned to the Netherlands to complete his studies. In 1747, he married Mary Meade (1715-1784) and came into possession of an estate and income in Buckinghamshire. They had one child, Mary (known as Polly), to whom John was utterly devoted for the rest of his life. Wilkes and Mary, however, separated in 1756, a separation that became permanent. Wilkes never married again, but he gained a reputation as a rake. He was known to have fathered at least five other children. Wilkes was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1749 and appointed High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire in 1754. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Berwick in the 1754 parliamentary elections but was elected for Aylesbury in 1757 and again in 1761. Elections took place at the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aylesbury where he held a manorial pew. He lived at the Prebendal House, Parsons Fee, Aylesbury. He was a member of the Knights of St. Francis of Wycombe, also known as the Hellfire Club or the Medmenham Monks, and was the instigator of a prank that may have hastened its dissolution. The Club had many distinguished members, including the Earl of Sandwich and Sir Francis Dashwood. Wilkes reportedly brought a baboon dressed in a cape and horns into the rituals performed at the club, producing considerable mayhem among the inebriated initiates. Wilkes was notoriously ugly, being called the ugliest man in England at the time. He possessed an unsightly squint and protruding jaw, but he had a charm that carried all before it. He boasted that it "took him only half an hour to talk away his face", though the duration required changed on the several occasions Wilkes repeated the claim. He also declared that "a month's start of his rival on account of his face" would secure him the conquest in any love affair. He was well known for his verbal wit and his snappy responses to insults. For instance, when told by a constituent that he would rather vote for the devil, Wilkes responded: "Naturally." He then added: "And if your friend decides against standing, can I count on your vote?" In a famous exchange with John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, where the latter exclaimed, "Sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox," Wilkes is reported to have replied, "That depends, my lord, on whether I embrace your lordship's principles or your mistress." Fred R. Shapiro, in The Yale Book of Quotations (2006), disputes the attribution based on a claim that it first appeared in a book published in 1935, but it is ascribed to Wilkes in Henry Brougham's Historical Sketches (1844), related from Bernard Howard, 12th Duke of Norfolk, who claims to have been present, as well as in Charles Marsh's Clubs of London (1828). Brougham notes the exchange had in France previously been ascribed to Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau and Cardinal Jean-Sifrein Maury. Wilkes began his parliamentary career as a follower of William Pitt the Elder and enthusiastically supported Britain's involvement in the Seven Years War of 1756-1763. When the Scottish John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, came to head the government in 1762, Wilkes started a radical weekly publication, The North Briton, to attack him, using an anti-Scots tone. Typical of Wilkes, the title made satirical reference to the pro-government newspaper, The Briton, with "North Briton" referring to Scotland. Wilkes became particularly incensed by what he regarded as Bute's betrayal in agreeing to overly generous peace terms with France to end the war. On 5 October 1762, Wilkes fought a duel with William Talbot, 1st Earl Talbot. Talbot was the Lord Steward and a follower of Bute; he challenged Wilkes to a pistol duel after being ridiculed in issue 12 of The North Briton. The encounter took place at Bagshot - at night to avoid attracting judicial attention. At a range of eight yards, Talbot and Wilkes both fired their pistols but neither was hit. Somewhat reconciled, they then went to a nearby inn and shared a bottle of claret. When the affair later became widely known, some viewed it as comical, and a satirical print made fun of the duelists. Some commentators even denounced the duel as a stunt, stage-managed to enhance the reputations of both men. Wilkes faced a charge of seditious libel over attacks on George III's speech endorsing the Paris Peace Treaty of 1763 at the opening of Parliament on 23 April 1763. Wilkes was highly critical of the King's speech, which was recognised as having been written by Bute [citation needed]. He attacked it in an article of issue 45 of The North Briton. The issue number in which Wilkes published his critical editorial was appropriate because the number 45 was synonymous with the Jacobite Rising of 1745, commonly known as "The '45". Popular perception associated Bute - Scottish, and politically controversial as an adviser to the King - with Jacobitism, a perception which Wilkes played on. The King felt personally insulted and ordered the issuing of general warrants for the arrest of Wilkes and the publishers on 30 April 1763. Forty-nine people, including Wilkes, were arrested, but general warrants were unpopular and Wilkes gained considerable popular support as he asserted their unconstitutionality. At his court hearing he claimed that parliamentary privilege protected him, as an MP, from arrest on a charge of libel. The Lord Chief Justice ruled that parliamentary privilege did indeed protect him and he was soon restored to his seat. Wilkes sued his arresters for trespass. As a result of this episode, people were chanting, "Wilkes, Liberty and Number 45", referring to the newspaper. Parliament swiftly voted in a measure that removed protection of MPs from arrest for the writing and publishing of seditious libel. Bute had resigned (8 April 1763), but Wilkes opposed Bute's successor as chief advisor to the King, George Grenville, just as strenuously. On 16 November 1763, Samuel Martin, a supporter of George III, challenged Wilkes to a duel. Martin shot Wilkes in the belly.
Dealer Notes
Externally

Spine – fair to good condition – nice patina and red title label with gilt titles and compartment decoration. Worn and marked.
Joints – poor to fair condition – front joint cracked and loose, rear joint worn and solid.
Corners – fair condition – worn to the board.
Boards – fair to good condition – marked, worn, gilt lined and blind to the edges.
Page edges – good condition.
See above and photos.

Internally

Hinges – fair to good condition – see joints above.
Paste downs – good condition – foxed.
End papers – good condition – foxed.
Title – good condition – offsetting from the portrait.
Pages – good condition – some foxing.
Binding – good condition – text block solid.
See photos
Author John Wilkes
Date 1769
Binding Fine Contemporary Binding
Publisher London: Printed by and for T. Baldwin.
Condition Good

Price: £1200.00

Offered by Louis 88 Books

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