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John Horne Tooke (1736-1812), Radical politician; MP and philologist

Sitter associated with 49 portraits
The radical politician Horne Tooke was an ardent campaigner for liberty and parliamentary reform. He helped establish 'The Society for Supporting the Bill of Rights', and was instrumental in organising the distribution of Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man in 1791. In 1794 he was wrongly accused of planning an uprising and imprisoned in the Tower of London. William Godwin's written attack against the charge of high treason was widely read and seen as decisive to Horne Tooke's eventual acquittal. Horne Tooke also achieved widespread acclaim for the Diversions of Purley (1786 and 1805), a major two-volume work of philology, the study of ancient texts and languages.