John Wilkes had fled to Paris the previous December, but the Commons' decision on 20th January 1764 to expel him from membership provoked more Wilkesite riots. In February his trial for seditious libel and obscenity began. Wilkes did not appear and was pronounced guilty in absentia nine months later.
For more information on this event, please see our biographical profile of John Wilkes.
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Editors. "Wilkes expelled from Commons for seditious libel". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 March 2010
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=12877, accessed 21 January 2018.]