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Old and New London

Walter Thornbury

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .nded, the only foundation for the arrest being a hearsay that Wilkes had been seen going into Leach's house. Wilkes had been sent to the Tower for the No. 45. After much litigation, he obtained a verdict of £4,000, and Leach £300, damages from three of the king's messengers, who had executed the illegal warrant. Kearsley, the bookseller, of Fleet Street (whom we recollect by his tax-tables), had been taken up for publishing No. 45, when also at Kearsley's were seized the letters of Wilkes, which seemed to fix upon him the writing of the[Pg 235] obscene and blasphemous "Essay on Woman," and of which he was convicted in the Court of King's Bench and expelled the House of Commons. The author of this "indecent patchwork" was not Wilkes (says Walpole), but Thomas Potter, the wild son of the learned Archbishop of Canterbury, who had tried to fix the authorship on the learned and arrogant Warburton—a piece of matchless impudence worthy of Wilkes himself.<. . . Read More