Wilkes & The Power of Words
The emerging power of the press, and the media generally, really began to show itself however in the 1760s, thanks to the work of this man – Wilkes and indeed the man who caricatured him, Hogarth. In the early 1760s, Wilkes had started up a newspaper, The North Briton, which attacked the King and his Prime Minister, Bute for their alleged absolutist leanings. Hogarth rallied to the support of the King, producing a pro-Tory print, and Wilkes then criticised him too. Hogarth retaliated by producing this engraving. Note skilful and subtle ways in which Wilkes attacked, from wig to stockings.