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John Reeves

(1752—1829) barrister and writer


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(1752–1829), barrister, loyalist, pamphleteer, and government appointee. Of obscure background, Reeves came to the notice of government in the 1780s. Best known as founder of the Association for the Preservation of Property Against Republicans and Levellers, the most active of the loyalist associations of the 1790s, his Thoughts on the English Government (1795) argued that the King was the pre-eminent authority in the state, to which parliament was completely subordinate. Interpreted as an attack on the Glorious Revolution, the tract led to Reeves being prosecuted in 1796 for seditious libel against parliament. Although he was acquitted, the trial marked the end of Reeves's political career, and while he held a number of government positions, including superintendent of the Alien Office between 1808 and 1814, he still regarded himself as rejected by the establishment.

From An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945).


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