John Wilkes(1725-1797), Journalist, agitator and politician; MP for Aylesbury and Middlesex
Sitter associated with 49 portraits
Artist associated with 1 portrait
Radical politician. 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.
by John June
etching and line engraving, 1768
printed for J. Lee, sold by John Williams, sold by J. Kingsberry
etching and line engraving, published May 1768
- Mary Wilkes (daughter)
Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.
Subjects and themes
Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!
Black History Month
Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.
A Picture of Health
Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.