Person: Price, Richard
Richard Price was a Welsh congregational minister who made contributions to statistics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Price published Review of the Principal Questions in Morals in 1757 which contains his theory of ethics.
- Certainly up to this point nothing we have mentioned about Price would suggest that he should be in this archive, but the reason that we have included him is his contributions to statistics.
- Several of Bayes's papers were therefore given to Price.
- A Notebook written by Bayes is still preserved in the muniment room of the Equitable Life Assurance Society and one has to assume that it was deposited there because Price was interested in the work of that Society, and involved with it.
- Price was responsible for the communication of Bayes's Essay towards solving a problem in the doctrine of chances to the Royal Society.
- At times it is hard to tell which contributions Price made to Bayes's work, but it is clear that Price was a modest man who did not seek credit for his contributions.
- The Royal Society elected Price a fellow in 1765 on the strength of his contributions to probability.
- It was in 1769, in a letter to Benjamin Franklin, that Price commented on the expectation of lives, the increase of mankind, and the population of London.
- In May 1770 Price wrote to the Royal Society explaining how to calculate the values of contingent reversions.
- Price seemed to be well aware that the recently established insurance and benefit societies were basing the calculations of their policies on erroneous theory.
- We know that Price's scientific interests were very broad.
- Joseph Priestley, the discoverer of oxygen, was a friend of Price.
- They were both ordained to the Dissenting ministry and Priestley frequently visited Price in Newington Green.
- In 1776 Price published a pamphlet Observations on Civil Liberty and the War with America.
- It is said that the Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies made on 4 July 1776 was influenced by Price's pamphlet.
- Sarah Price died in 1786 and by this time Price's health was deteriorating.
- The Unitarian Society was established in 1791, shortly before Price's death, and he became a founder member.
- Price was buried in Bunhill Fields on 26 April 1791 and at the service Joseph Priestley gave the funeral sermon.
- Price was famous in his day, although his views were highly controversial, and many came to hear him preach.
Born 23 February 1723, Tyn-ton, Llangeinor, Glamorgan, Wales. Died 19 April 1791, Newington Green (near London), England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive