Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) by Francis John Williamson (1833-1920). 1874. Detail. Originally marble, but re-cast in bronze in 1951 (as was Sir Thomas Brock's statue of Queen Victoria, nearby in Victoria Square). Priestley, a celebrated theologian and natural philosopher, was born near Leeds but spent some of his best years as the minister of a Birmingham chapel, until driven out by rioters upset by his controversial ideas and misled by gossip about him. In this fine statue, "[h]e is shown absorbed in the experiment which led to his discovery of oxygen" (Foster 91).
Photographs, caption and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on the images for larger pictures.]
- Alfred Drury's statue of Priestley in Leeds (slightly more characterful; a few more details about Priestley are given in the commentary here)
Foster, Andy. Birmingham. Pevsner Architectural Guides. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2005. Print.
Schofield, Robert E, *Priestley, Joseph (1733-1804)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Web. 21 August 2012.
>Last modified 28 August 2012