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Introductory Note (to Issue no. XIII)

WithGraeme Stones

‘Acme and Septimius’ takes further advantage of Fox’s bucolic birthday celebration. At this event he was seen, in public, apparently at ease in the company of Horne Tooke, a man whom Fox had previously taken care to keep at a distance. Fox had been partly responsible for Tooke’s first prosecution, in 1774, had contested Tooke for the seat of Westminster, and appears to have distrusted his politics and disliked his person:

the only persons whom Fox positively could not endure, were Horne Tooke and Sheridan ... At my own table I have heard him abuse Tooke as the greatest villain he had known. 1