Search the Collection

John Wilkes (1725-1797), Politician; MP and agitator

Sitter associated with 47 portraits
Artist associated with 1 portrait
Wilkes's imprisonment for libel and banishment from the House of Commons brought into question the validity of parliamentary elections. Arrested in 1763 for publishing an attack on the King's speech in his newspaper The North Briton, his case became a popular cause, sparking violent public protests to the cry of 'Wilkes and Liberty'. Finally permitted to take his seat in 1774, he was then elected Lord Mayor of London. With his squint, crossed eyes and long jaw, Wilkes was called the ugliest man in England at the time, but he was well known for his verbal wit and snappy responses to insults.

List Thumbnail

D8507

John Wilkes

by Thomas Cook, published by George, George and John Robinson, after William Hogarth
line and stipple engraving, published 1 April 1800 (published 16 May 1763)
NPG D8507

D16927

John Wilkes

by William Strang, after Robert Edge Pine
etching, late 19th century
NPG D16927

D8328

John Wilkes

by Johann Sebastian Müller
line engraving, published 1763
NPG D8328

D19507

John Wilkes

published by Robert Sayer, after Kitchemer, after Robert Edge Pine
mezzotint, (circa 1763)
NPG D19507

D19620

John Wilkes

by James Wilson, after Robert Edge Pine
mezzotint, published 1764
NPG D19620

D16925

John Wilkes

by James Sayers, published by Charles Bretherton
etching, published 17 June 1782
NPG D16925

D16926

John Wilkes

by William Strang, after Robert Edge Pine
etching, late 19th century
NPG D16926