Sir John Birkenhead (1617–4 December 1679), kt 1662, founding member of the Royal Society.
He was most notable as a political writer and journalist.
Birkenhead began producing *Mercurius Aulicus* in 1643. In communicating the affaires of Court, *Mercurius Aulicus* can claim to be Englands first regular newspaper, printed at Oxford and reprinted in London almost throughout the entire war. The principle writer was Peter Heylin but Birkenhead brought satire, slanders and incisive polemics which the parliamentary party found difficult to rebuff.
His loyalty to the royalist party was rewarded on the restoration of the monarchy when he was made licenser of the press and joint editor, with Henry Muddiman, of the new official news-book *Mercurius Publicus*.
His contribution to journalism after the restoration was slight, concentrating more on a political career and being elected MP for Wilton, Wiltshire in June 1661.
Adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Birkenhead
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