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Painting the number “45” on stuff? Have we stopped doing that?

April 30, 2015

It’s that time of year again….

conradbrunstrom

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Arrest of John Wilkes on a “General Warrant”, April 30th, 1763.

Today is the 252nd  anniversary of the arrest of John Wilkes, one of the most enjoyably bizarre yet anniversaries in Britain’s national history. If Britain chose to celebrate its most adventurous heritage instead of throwing money at tedious and uninspiring notifications of dynastic longevity, then today might be the focus of some imaginative celebrations and discussions.

Wilkes was co-editor and principle author of The North Briton, a popular and funny opposition periodical. Issue No. 45. attacked the King’s Speech objecting to the terms of the recent Treaty of Paris. Although Wilkes made it clear in his paper that he was attacking a ministry, not a monarch who was merely reciting the work of politicians, those same politicians, with the enthusiastic support of George III decided to brand No. 45 as a “treasonable and seditious libel”.   Not for the last…

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