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Price
Price
334

ciples.’ Returning to Oxford in 1655, he graduated B.A. and M.A. by accumulation from Christ Church on 6 May 1656. In 1657 he became headmaster of Magdalen College School, but was ejected at the Restoration. On 21 June 1658, in making an application to Henry Scobell, secretary of Cromwell's council, for the mastership of Westminster, Price boasts that during the eight years he had been schoolmaster, he had produced ‘more godley men and preachers (some whereof have passed the approvers) than some (that keepe greater noise than I doe) have with their XX years' labour’—an oblique stroke at Dr. Busby, whom he hoped to oust ({sc|Barber}}, Busby, p. 74; Peck, Desiderata Curiosa, bk. xiii. p. 502). After his ejection from Magdalen, Price ‘taught school with great success in Devonshire, and afterwards at Besills-Lee (Besselsleigh), near Abingdon’ (Wood). He died at Oxford, ‘in his house near to Magdalen College,’ on 25 Nov. 1671, and was buried in the church of St. Peter-in-the-East. Wood calls him ‘a noted professor in the art of pedagogy,’ and speaks of his ‘acknowledged skill in teaching.’

Price published:

  1. ‘The Vocal Organ; or a new Art of teaching Orthography by observing the Instruments of Pronunciation, and the difference between Words of like Sound, whereby any outlandish or meer Englishman, Woman, and Child, may speedily attaine to the exact Spelling, Reading, or Pronouncing of any Word in the English Tongue, without the Advantage of its Fountains, the Greeke and Latine,’ 1665, 8vo, Oxford.
  2. ‘English Orthography: teaching (1) the Letters of every sort of Print; (2) all Syllables made of Letters; (3) Short Rules, by way of Question and Answer, for Spelling, Reading, Pronunciation, using the Great Letters and their Points; (4) Examples of all Words of like Sound,’ &c., 1670, 8vo.

Price married a daughter of John Blagrave of Merton. His son Thomas, successively a chorister and clerk at Magdalen College (B.A. 1692 and M.A. 1695), apparently became prebendary of St. Paul's in 1707 (Le Neve, ii. 390); he is credited with ‘Pietas in obitum Augustæ et Reginæ Mariæ,’ in Latin verse, Oxford, 1695.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 942; Bloxam's Magdalen Register, i. 119, ii. 83, 171, iii. 177–81; Burrows's Reg. of the Parl. Visitors, p. 504; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Williams's Biogr. Dict. of eminent Welshmen.]

G. Le G. N.

PRICE, RICHARD (1723–1791), nonconformist minister and writer on morals, politics, and economics, was born on 23 Feb. 1723 at Tynton, in the parish of Llangeinor, in the county of Glamorgan. His father, Rice Price, who was for many years minister of a congregation of protestant dissenters at Bridgend, in the same county, was a bigoted Calvinist, and seems to have been a person of morose temper, facts which may account, on the principle of reaction, for the liberal opinions and the benevolent disposition of the son. Young Price seems to have received his early education at many successive ‘academies,’ the last being one kept by the Rev. Vavasor Griffith, at Talgarth in Breconshire. From his earliest youth he appears to have recoiled from his father's religious opinions, and to have inclined towards the views of more liberal and philosophical theologians, the works of Clarke and Butler having a special attraction for him. By the advice of a paternal uncle, who officiated as co-pastor with Dr. Watts [see Watts, Isaac], he removed, in his eighteenth year, to a dissenting college, the Fund Academy, in London, under John Eames [q. v.], and, having there completed his education, became chaplain and companion to a Mr. Streatfield at Stoke Newington. While still occupying this position he officiated in various dissenting congregations, such as those in the Old Jewry, Edmonton, and Newington Green. By the death of Mr. Streatfield and of an uncle in 1756 his circumstances were considerably improved, and in the following year, the year in which he first published his best known work, a ‘Review of the principal Questions in Morals,’ he married a Miss Sarah Blundell, originally of Belgrave in Leicestershire. In 1758 he took up his residence at Newington Green, in order to be near his congregation. His time seems now to have been divided between the performance of his ministerial duties and his various studies, especially philosophy and mathematics. His treatise on morals had gained him a certain reputation, and he began to make the acquaintance of philosophers and literary men, including Franklin and Hume. In 1769 Lord Shelburne, attracted by reading his ‘Dissertations on Providence’ and the ‘Junction of Virtuous Men in a Future State,’ expressed a desire to meet him. The interview led to a lifelong friendship, which had much influence in raising Price's reputation and determining the character of his future pursuits.

It was not, however, so much as a theologian and moralist as a writer on financial and political questions that Price was destined to become known to his countrymen at large. In 1769 he wrote some observations addressed in a letter to Dr. Franklin on the expectation of lives, the increase of mankind, and the population of London, which were published in the ‘Philosophical Transactions’