Joseph Priestley Facts

Joseph Priestley Facts
Joseph Priestley FRS (March 24, 1733 to February 6, 1804) was an English theologian, natural philosopher, chemist, teacher and Liberal political theorist. He is best known for isolating Oxygen in its gaseous state. He also invented soda water.
Interesting Joseph Priestley Facts:
Priestley was born in Birstall, England and was the oldest of six children.
Due to the large size of the family, Priestley was sent as an infant to live with his grandfather when his mother died.
In 1741 he went to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle, Sarah and John Keighley.
Because he showed an early aptitude for learning, the Keighley's sent him to school to learn Latin, Greek and Hebrew and planned for him to enter the ministry.
For a time he left the seminary because he decided to join another relative in trade in Portugal and changed his studies to French, Italian and German and Arabic in addition to higher mathematics, logic and metaphysics.
He returned to theology and he was influenced by David Hartley's Observations on Man which constructed a Christian philosophy which tried to prove religious facts though science.
In 1758 he became a minister in Nantwich and established a school where he taught natural philosophy to his students and brought in scientific instruments for them.
He was unhappy with the available grammar books and wrote The Rudiments of English Grammar which for the first time distinguished the rules of English grammar from the rules of Latin grammar.
In 1761 he was offered a teaching position at Warrington Academy where he taught modern languages and rhetoric.
He argued that education should further the future needs of students and urged the study of modern rather than classical languages and modern history rather than ancient history.
He promoted the education of middle-class women which was unusual and he has been called the most important educator between John Locke and Herbert Spencer.
His two timelines of history are considered the most influential of the 18th century.
He experimented with electricity and in 1767 published the 700 page History and Present State of Electricity which is both a history and the results of his own experiments in the field.
He was the first to discover that electrical force followed an inverse-square law.
In 1766 he was accepted as a Fellow of the Royal Society.
His Institutes of Natural and Revealed Religion was written between 1772 and 1774 expounded on his belief that the only revealed religious truths that could be accepted were those that conformed to natural, physical laws.


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