Saturday, October 22, 2016

Wilkes and Lib-beer-ty

My inner history geek was pleased to find a pub in Leek named after eighteenth century radical, hellraiser and rabble-rouser (and particular thorn in the side of George III and his first Prime Minister the Earl of Bute) John Wilkes.

Wikipedia and Google tell me it's not the only pub so named - there's two more in Eastergate, West Sussex and Llandysul, Dyfed, and there used to be two more in St Ives, Cambridgeshire and Brentford, London.

This Wilkes Head claims to be one of the oldest pubs in Staffordshire, although I presume that's the site not the current premises! 

As far as I am aware, Wilkes also has no connection with Leek (which by comparison explains why Northampton has honoured local MP and early humanist Charles Bradlaugh with a pub named after him). So it's doubly fascinating to see how nearly 250 years later his infamy lives on in this and a few other scattered parts of the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment