A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Price, Richard

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Price, Richard (1723-1791). -- Writer on morals, politics, and economics, s. of a dissenting minister, was b. at Tynton in Wales, ed. at a dissenting coll. in London, and was then for some years chaplain to a Mr. Streatfield, who left him some property. Thereafter he officiated as minister to various congregations near London. In 1758 his Review of the Principal Questions and Difficulties in Morals, a work of considerable metaphysical power, appeared; and it was followed in 1766 by a treatise on The Importance of Christianity. In 1769 his work on Reversionary Payments was pub., and his Northampton Mortality Table was about the same time constructed. These, though long superseded, were in their day most valuable contributions to economical science. His most popular work, Observations on Civil Liberty and the Justice and Policy of the War with America, appeared in 1776, had an enormous sale, and led to his being invited to go to America and assist in establishing the financial system of the new Government. This he declined chiefly on the score of age. Simplicity, uprightness, and toleration of opinions opposed to his own appear to have been marked traits in his character.