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Huw Edwards unveils Blue Plaque to Welsh ‘mathematical genius’ Richard Price

22 Feb 2023 3 minute read
Richard Price. Image public domain

Newsreader Huw Edwards has unveiled a Blue Plaque dedicated to Richard Price who he described as an “mathematical genius and forward-thinking philosopher”.

BBC News At Ten presenter Edwards, 61, said the memorial to Price at his former red brick home in Newington Green, London goes “some way” to giving him the “recognition he deserves” 300 years on from his birth in the village of Llangeinor, near Bridgend in south Wales.

Edwards, who was born in Bridgend, also said: “There is no doubt that Richard Price deserves to be a household name.

“He was a mathematical genius and forward-thinking philosopher and theologian whose influence is still felt today.

“I hope English Heritage’s new plaque will go some way towards getting him the recognition he deserves.”

Price lived at 54 Newington Green between 1758 to 1787, where he wrote letters to his friends, the philosophers Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, who were also instrumental in American Independence as one of the country’s Founding Fathers.

Nonconformist minister

It was a cause that Nonconformist minister Price supported as his sermon A Discourse On The Love Of Our Country in 1789 which advocated for the beginning of the French Revolution, and his house being searched due to his enthusiasm for the American revolution point to.

Outside his political works, he also developed probability method Bayes’ theorem, actuarial science, which calculates risk, and demography, the science of populations.

Some interior and outdoor features of his house, dating from 1658, remain including an early 18th-century staircase and an arched entrance through which he would have ridden his favourite grey horse.

English Heritage’s Howard Spencer said: “From economics and statistics to politics, religion and philosophy, Richard Price’s achievements are incredibly varied.

“He was a true man of the age of enlightenment and it is particularly exciting to commemorate him here in Newington Green, where we know he spent many years, and on a building of such note.”

Price’s friends included the feminist philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, who ran a school in Newington Green, was the mother of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley and was part of Price’s congregation along with her husband William Godwin.

There is a memorial to Price in the Unitarian Chapel where he preached, a short distance from his Newington Green house.

“His eminent talents were matched by his integrity, simplicity and goodness of heart”, its inscription reads.

Price was born on February 23 1723 and died on April 19 1791.

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1 year ago

Wow! A blue Plaque! Meanwhile other nations celebrate their heroes properly with statues, proudly displayed. if you’d walk in Cardiff, Newport or Swansea, you’d be under the assumption that we have contributed nothing to the world. No surprise coming from a people who regularly demean their Kings by calling them Princes!

Last edited 1 year ago by Riki
Marc Davies
Marc Davies
1 year ago
Reply to  Riki

To get a blue plaque is like jumping through hoops Riki. To erect a statue would probably take 50 years of overcoming Council blockages and general disinterest. Price is a great Welsh figure, and immensely influential. That said, ask most people about him and they wouldn’t have a clue. Is Richard Price taught in all our schools, colleges and universities? Of course not. Shameful

1 year ago
Reply to  Marc Davies

Indeed, like Price, plenty of others are worthy of such recognition but alas, this is Wales, where the most famous person from it is Tom Jones. Nobody even knows who William Robert Groves was! The level of historical ignorance from our Population is staggering.

Iago Prydderch
Iago Prydderch
1 year ago

Two points stand out: the blue plaque is being unveiled in London and not where he was born; and it’s being placed by English Heritage. A Welshman being recognised by the English in England. What can one say!

1 year ago
Reply to  Iago Prydderch

Because as a people, we have been conditioned to believe loving ones culture and History is a bad thing. This is why we see so many people from Wales looking down on their own…and not believing they can run their own affairs.

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