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).

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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