Dr Joseph Priestley FRS LLD
(1733-1804)

Died aged c. 71

Joseph Priestley FRS (/ˈpriːstli/; 24 March [O.S. 13 March] 1733 – 6 February 1804) was an 18th-century English theologian, dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and Liberal political theorist who published over 150 works. He is usually credited with the discovery of oxygen, having isolated it in its gaseous state, although Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Antoine Lavoisier also have a claim to the discovery. During his lifetime, Priestley's considerable scientific reputation rested on his invention of soda water, his writings on electricity, and his discovery of several "airs" (gases), the most famous being what Priestley dubbed "dephlogisticated air" (oxygen). However, Priestley's determination to defend phlogiston theory and to reject what would become the chemical revolution eventually left him isolated within the scientific community. Priestley's science was integral to his theology, and he consistently tried to fuse Enlightenment rationalism with Christian theism. In his metaphysical texts, Priestley attempted to combine theism, materialism, and determinism, a project that has been called "audacious and original". He believed that a proper understanding of the natural world would promote human progress and eventually bring about the Christian Millennium. Priestley, who strongly believed in the free and open exchange of ideas, advocated toleration and equal rights for religious Dissenters, which also led him to help found Unitarianism in England. The controversial nature of Priestley's publications combined with his outspoken support of the French Revolution aroused public and governmental suspicion; he was eventually forced to flee in 1791, first to London and then to the United States, after a mob burned down his home and church. He spent the last ten years of his life living in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. A scholar and teacher throughout his life, Priestley also made significant contributions to pedagogy, including the publication of a seminal work on English grammar, books on history, and he prepared some of the most influential early timelines. These educational writings were some of Priestley's most popular works. It was his metaphysical works, however, that had the most lasting influence: leading philosophers including Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Herbert Spencer credit them among the primary sources for utilitarianism.

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Commemorated on 12 plaques

Joseph Priestley 1733-1804 scientist, philosopher and theologian was Minister to the Gravel Pit Meeting here in 1793-1794

Ram Place, E9 Hackney, London, United Kingdom where they was Minister to the Gravel Pit Meeting

The Leeds Library A proprietary subscription library founded in 1768 with Joseph Priestley as Secretary. Since 1808 it has occupied these purpose-built premises designed by Thomas Johnson. The first-floor reading room and Thomas Ambler's 'New Room' extension are amongst the architectural wonders of Leeds.

18 Commercial Street, LS1, Leeds, United Kingdom where they was (1768)

On this site in the former New Meeting House Joseph Priestley LLD FRS scholar, scientist, theologian and discoverer of oxygen ministered to his congregation from 1870 to 1791

St Michael's Catholic Church, New Meeting Street (off Moor Street Queensway), Birmingham, United Kingdom where they was

Revd John Michell BD. FRS 1724-1793 geologist and astronomer. Rector of Thornhill 1767 - 1793. He experimented on magnetism and astronomy, also making a Torsion balance to weigh the world. His visitors here included Henry Cavendish, William Herschel, Joseph Priestley and John Smeaton.

Thornhill Parish Church, Church Ln, Thornhill, Dewsbury, United Kingdom where they visited

Joseph Priestley 1733-1804 ministered here 1755-1758. Discovered Oxygen.

Church, High Street, Needham Market, United Kingdom where they minister

Mill Hill Chapel This elegant Gothic building, designed by Bowman and Crowther in 1848, replaced the original 17th century chapel. Its congregation - formerly Presbyterian, now Unitarian - dates from 1672. Joseph Priestley LLD FRS discoverer of oxygen, was minister here 1767-1773.

Park Row, Leeds, United Kingdom where they minister

Joseph Priestley Theologian, scientist & discoverer of oxygen. Lived in a house on this Site 1792-1794

113 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, London, United Kingdom where they lived

Joseph Priestley Discoverer of oxygen born on this site A.D. 1733

Owler Lane, Birstall, United Kingdom where they was born (1733)

Joseph Priestley. The noted English scientist, discoverer of oxygen, and Unitarian theologian lived in Northumberland, 1794 to 1804. His home and laboratory along the river are now a Priestley memorial and museum.

Duke St. (PA 147) at 10th St., Northumberland, PA, United States where they lived near (1794-1804)

Joseph Priestley House. Home, 1794-1804, of the noted English scientist. Administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

472 Priestley Ave., Northumberland, PA, United States where they lived (1794-1804)

Joseph Priestley 1733-1804 Distinguished Chemist Discoverer of Oxygen Conducted worship here whilst Unitarian Minister Nantwich, Cheshire, c.1761

Lower Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, United Kingdom where they conducted worship

Joseph Priestley LLD FRS 1733 - 1804 Tutor at Warrington Academy 1761 - 1767 first to publish 'The Inverse Square Law of Electrostatics' and Discoverer of Oxygen Lived in a house that occupied this site from 1762 - 1767

Academy Street, Warrington, United Kingdom where they lived (1762-1767)