An English philosopher and dissenting divine, born at Fieldheald, Yorkshire, 1733. He was educated at Daventry, under Dr. Ashworth, for the ministry among the dissenters, and at the proper age he took care of a congregation at Needham Market, Suffolk, and afterwards at Nantwich, Cheshire. He became, in 1761, professor of belles lettres in the Warrington Academy, and after seven years' residence there he removed to Leeds, and two years after accepted the office of librarian and philosophical companion to the earl of Shelburne. In this retreat, the philosopher devoted himself laboriously to metaphysical and theological studies, and published various works; and when, at last, he separated from his noble patron, he retired with an annual pension of one hundred and fifty pounds, to settle at Birmingham, as pastor to a Unitarian congregation, in 1780. While here usefully employed in advancing the cause of philosophy, and too often engaged in theological disputes, he became the victim of popular fury; and the conduct of some of his neighbors in celebrating the anniversary of the French revolution, in 1791, with more intemperance than became Englishmen and loyal subjects, excited a dreadful riot. Not only the meeting-houses were destroyed on this melancholy occasion, but, among others, Dr. Priestley's house, library, manuscripts, and philosophical apparatus, were totally consumed; and, though he recovered a compensation by suing the county, he quitted this scene of prejudice and unpopularity. After residing some time at London and Hackney, where he preached to the congregation over which his friend Price once presided, he determined to quit his native country, and seek a more peaceful retreat in America, where some of his family were already settled. He left England in 1794, and fixed his residence at Northumberland, in Pennsylvania, where he died in 1804. His writings were very numerous, and he long attracted the public notice, not only by discoveries in philosophy, but by the boldness of his theological opinions. Had he confined his studies merely to philosophical pursuits, his name would have descended to posterity with greater lustre; but he who attempts innovations in government and religion, for singularity, and to excite popular prejudices, must be little entitled to the applauses of the world.