The Treaty of Paris, John Wilkes and North Briton Number 45

The History of Parliament

On 23 April 1763, John Wilkes published his famous ‘North Briton No.45’, attacking George III and his Prime Minister, the Earl of Bute. Dr Robin Eagles tells us more…

Engraving of John Wilkes by William Hogarth

George III came to the throne in 1760 determined to bring to fruition plans for a fundamental change in the political balance of power within Britain. Emulating the programme of his father’s opposition court based at Leicester House, the new king wished to bring to an end what he perceived to be the corruption and divisiveness of factional politics centred on the various Whig groupings. To this end he turned to John Stuart, 3rd earl of Bute (pronounced Boot): a member of his household who had become close to his mother, Princess Augusta. Under Bute’s guidance George sought an end to the popular if expensive war then being waged against an alliance including France…

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