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Richard Price, 1723-1791

price.gif (12261 bytes)The Welsh moral and political philosopher was born at Tynton, Glamorganshire, went to a Dissenting academy in London, was preacher at Newington Green and Hackney (outer London), and established a reputation by his Review of the Principal Questions in Morals (1756) and Importance of Christianity (1766). In 1769, he was made D.D. by Glasgow, and published the celebrated Northampton Mortality Tables. In 1771, appeared his Appeal on the National Debt and in 1776 his Observations on Civil Liberty and the War with America. The Observations brought him an invitation from the United States Congress to assist in regulating its finances. In his great treatise on morals he held that right and wrong are simple ideas incapable of analysis, and received immediately by the intuitive power of the reason. In 1791, Price became an original member of the Unitarian Society.

Richard Price was a mathematician, an expert on insurance, and an advisor to Shelburne and Pitt on financial reform. He was also one of the leaders of the Dissenting campaigns to extend he rights of freedom of worship and of civic equality.

Although Price is little known today outside the province of the 18th century specialist, his importance today is as the author of A Discourse on the Love of Our County, the work which prompted Edmund Burke to write his Reflections on the Revolution in France and initiate the pamphlet war of the 1790s.

See the following works of Price:
Britain's Happiness, and the Proper Improvement of it
Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty, the Principles of Government, and the Justice and Policy of the War with America
Additional Observations on the Nature and Value of Civil Liberty, and the War with America

A Fast Sermon
Observations on the Importance of the American Revolution and the Means of making it a Benefit to the World

The Evidence for a Future Period of Improvement in the State of Mankind

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copyright 2000 Steven Kreis
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