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Radical newspaper printed while the publisher was in jail...



Item # 561607 THE NORTH BRITON, London, 1769 

* Radical newspaper printed while the publisher was in jail

This was a radical newspaper from the 18th century, very much associated with the name John Wilkes. Wilkes published the issues #1 thru 46.

Issue number 45 (April 23, 1763) is the most famous issue of the paper. It criticized a royal speech in which King George III praised the Treaty of Paris ending the Seven Years' War. Wilkes was charged with libel (accusing the King of lying), and imprisoned for a short time in the Tower of London. Wilkes challenged the general warrant for his arrest and seizure of his paper, eventually winning the case. His courtroom speeches launched the cry "Wilkes and Liberty!", a popular slogan for freedom of speech and resistance to power. By the time Wilkes was released from prison in 1770, "45" had become a popular icon not only of Wilkes, but of liberty and freedom of speech in general.

Issue numbers 47 (May 10, 1768) through 218 (May 11, 1771) were published by William Bingley. Bingley was jailed on account of issues number 50 and 51 but was released after two years without trial.

This issue is not only from the Bingley era but is from the period when he was in jail, as the imprint at the bottom of the bkpg. begins: "Printed for W. Bingley, a prisoner in the King's Bench..." (see).

A 6 page newspaper measuring about 8 by 12 inches. Minor foxing, mostly nice. 

Category: The 1600's and 1700's

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