Book #79797
Item #79797 Arms of Liberty and Slavery: To the Gentlemen, Clergy, and Freeholders. Broadside, John Wilkes.
Arms of Liberty and Slavery: To the Gentlemen, Clergy, and Freeholders
Arms of Liberty and Slavery: To the Gentlemen, Clergy, and Freeholders
Arms of Liberty and Slavery: To the Gentlemen, Clergy, and Freeholders

Arms of Liberty and Slavery: To the Gentlemen, Clergy, and Freeholders

"Always Ready in a Good Cause" [Broadside]. Wilkes, John [1725-1797]. Arms of Liberty and Slavery. To the Gentlemen, Clergy, and Freeholders of the County of Middlesex. [London: S.n.], 1768. 13" x 8" broadside, text in two columns with ornamental divider below headline and copperplate engraving, signed in type: John Wilkes, King's-Bench Prison, Saturday, June 18, 1768. Moderate toning, light soiling, horizontal and vertical fold lines, light edgewear, small holes starting along fold lines with minor loss to image, reinforced with tissue on verso in a few places, trimmed close with minor loss to text along left-hand margin, no loss to legibility. Broadside housed in recent paper folder, hand-lettered title to front cover, notes and former seller's description tipped onto inner front cover. $1,250. * Wilkes, a radical journalist and politician, had been tried and found guilty in absentia of obscene and seditious libel in 1764 after publishing a pornographic satire and an editorial highly critical of George III. He returned to England in 1768 and was elected as a Member of Parliament for Middlesex. After waiving his parliamentary immunity, he was imprisoned on May 10, 1768. In this broadside, Wilkes celebrates the removal of the outlawry imposed in 1764 and vows "that on every emergency, whenever the rights of the people are attacked, I shall be ready to stand forwards and to risk all for what is nearest to my heart, the freedom of England." The copperplate engraving contains two satirical coats of arms. On the left, Wilkes is flanked by his counsel John Glynn, holding a Phrygian cap, and financial backer Richard Grenville-Temple. The seal features a lion and the motto "Always Ready in a Good Cause." On the right, Lord Chief Mansfield is supported by Lord Bute, a Tory Prime Minister and frequent target of Wilkes, and the devil, both holding shackles. This seal carries the motto "Justice Sans Pitie" and a viper and hydra. OCLC locates 5 copies of this broadside in North America (Boston Public Library, Harvard, Yale, New York Public Library, OCLC FAST Project). English Short-Title Catalogue N5966.

Price: $1,250.00

Book number 79797

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