(1733 - 1804)
Joseph Priestley was a minister by training, though a meeting with Benjamin Franklin in 1765 saw him commit to publishing The History and Present State of Electricity, with Original Experiments, his first major scientific work. By 1791 Priestley’s membership in the Dissenters, a non-Anglican Protestant group that supported the French and American revolutions, sparked riots in Birmingham. Priestley’s effigy was burned, his house and lab destroyed. He and his family fled to America, where he died in Pennsylvania in 1804.