His satirical treatment of political figures, of common fads, of people he saw as enemies of himself or his friends, took the form of verse. He was often mentioned along with Alexander Pope, though his writing was not of the calibre of Pope's. Whitehead was aware of this as this excerpt shows:
Pope writes unhurt but know,, 'tis different! quite
To beard the lion, and to crush the mite.
Safe may he dash the Statesman in each line ;.
Those dread his satire, who dare punish mine
Still, Whitehead would live to receive rewards from the government, as well as an annuity from a fellow member of the Hellfire Club, a group which prided itself on its wicked behavior. This group was one of several in 18th century England which set a precedent for the 19th century epater le boourgeoisie sentiment, and the 20th century revolt against common proprieties in the 1960s. Here is a bit of Whitehead's writing which makes this attitude clear (Moorfields is the setting for club festivities):
Midst the mad mansions of Moorfields,
I'd be A straw crown'd monarch, in mock majesty ;
Rather than sov' reign rule Britannia's fate,
Curs'd with the follies, and the farce of state.
Rather in Newgate walls, O let me dwell,
A doleful tenant of the darkling cell,
Than swell in palaces the mighty store
Of fortune's fools, and parasites of power;
Than crowns, ye gods ! be any state my doom,
Or any dungeon — but a drawing-room !
One suspects these sentiments were easy to voice when in the company of fellow revelers, His wife was rich and stupid, and Whitehead always treated her tenderly, according to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Our excerpts are from: The poems and miscellaneous compositions of Paul Whitehead (1777).