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Priestley Riots

The Priestley Riots were a set of riots, which took place in Birmingham, England, in 1791 , and were named after Joseph Priestley, one of their targets.

On July 14, of that year, the Constitutional Society of Birmingham arranged a dinner to celebrate the anniversary of the fall of the Bastille. Priestley, according to his own account, had little to do with it. However, his sympathies for the French revolutionaries were notorious, and the well- organised mob seized the occasion to attack the homes of several dissenters, including burning his chapel and sacking his house at Fairhill, destroying his library and laboratory. He and his family escaped, but his material possessions were lost and the labour of years annihilated. Priestley afterwards moved to London.

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