Joseph Priestley By: Amelia Brunda 6B
Joseph Priestley's Early Life Joseph Priestley was born on March 13, 1733. He lived in England until in 1740 his mother, a cloth-dresser from Leeds, died. He then went to live with his aunt in England, a person with strong, eccentric religious views. He attended the local grammar school, but after three years of his ill-health, he was forced to return home. Joseph was a brilliant student, and with the help of local teachers, he became adept in physics, philosophy, algebra, mathematics, and several other languages.
Joseph Priestley’s Accomplishments After Joseph Priestley’s health improved, he then attended the new nonconformist Daventry Academy in Northamptonshire, where he studied history, science, and philosophy. Three years later he moved to Nantwich in Cheshire. He opened up a school based on his ideas of education and was especially interested in how science can help improve human life. Several years later Priestley became friends with a scientist known as John Wilkinson, where he made his discovery of oxygen.
Later Life Joseph Priestley later on wrote three books based on Science, Arts, Modern Languages, and History. This brought the attention of Benjamin Franklin and Richard Price. Together they discussed more and encouraged Priestley to improve his science and politics. He even wrote a pamphlet defending the French Revolution. This also attacked the British government and angered the king, King Charles III. This made the king believe that Priestley was an atheist. He was nicknamed, “Gunpowder” after hearing Priestley’s predictions that the French changed their role of the monarchy.
Conclusion Joseph Priestley appeals to me because Science has always interested me, so learning about Priestley’s discovery on oxygen made me want to type about him. Priestley may not have had an easy childhood, with the death of his mother and becoming ill, but that didn’t stop him from learning. How the human body worked seemed to have caught Priestley’s eye and mind. He grew up and achieved most of dreams, including helping humanity with oxygen. He was a great man.
Bibliography This information was found on FactMonster.com and Google.com. Fact Monster- from Information Please. Google- A Faster Way to Search the Web. Big thanks to them. I wouldn’t have done it without them.