JOSEPH PRIESTLEY (1733-1804), English chemist and Nonconformist minister, was born on the 13th of March 1733 at Fieldhead, a hamlet near Birstal in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
In the same year appeared Evanson's work entitled The Dissonance of the four generally received Evangelists, to which replies were published by Priestley and David Simpson (1793).
In effect, therefore, Mayow - who also gives a remarkably correct anatomical description of the mechanism of respiration - preceded Priestley and Lavoisier by a century in recognizing the existence of oxygen, under the guise of his spiritus nitro-aereus, as a separate entity distinct from the general mass of the air; he perceived the part it plays in combustion and in increasing the weight of the calces of metals as compared with metals themselves; and, rejecting the common notions of his time that the use of breathing is to cool the heart, or assist the passage of the blood from the right to the left side of the heart, or merely to agitate it, he saw in inspiration a mechanism for introducing oxygen into the body, where it is consumed for the production of heat and muscular activity, and even vaguely conceived of expiration as an excretory process.
Of more importance than these, or than the Royal Magazine (1759-1771) was the Monthly Magazine (1796-1843), with which Priestley and Godwin were originally connected.
Bentley died in 1780 and Wedgwood remained sole owner of the Etruria works until 1790, when he took some of his sons and a nephew, named Byerley, into partner - ship. He died on the 3rd of January 1795, rich in honours and in friends, for besides being a great potter he was a man of high moral worth, and was associated with many noted men of his time, amongst whom should be mentioned Sir Joseph Banks, Joseph Priestley and Erasmus Darwin.
With the two last named he discussed the materialism of Priestley and the theory of necessitarianism.
Darwin's work shows, however, the tendency to connect medicine with physical science, which was an immediate consequence of the scientific discoveries of the end of the 18th century, when Priestley and Cavendish in England exercised the same influence as Lavoisier in France.
Old-fashioned in most of his views, he disliked the tendencies alike of the Methodists and other revivalists and of the rationalizing dissenters, yet he had a good word for Priestley and Theophilus Lindsey.
The library hall was restored and decorated, largely through the generosity of Sir William Priestley (1829-1900), formerly M.P. for the university; while munificent additions to the academic funds and resources were made by the 15th earl of Moray (1840-1901), Sir William Fraser (1816-1898), and others.
Nathaniel Lardner (1684-1768), Caleb Fleming (1698-1779), Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), Thomas Belsham (1750-1829).