He was soon restored to his seat as he cited parliamentary privilege for his editorial. " Fred R. During the American War of Independence he was a supporter of the American rebels adding further to his popularity with American Whigs.
In 1780 however he commanded militia forces which helped put down the Gordon Riots damaging his popularity with many radicals. In 1771 he was instrumental in obliging the government to concede the right of printers to publish verbatim accounts of parliamentary debates. In the Middlesex election dispute he fought for the right of voters—rather than the House of Commons—to determine their representatives.