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at Easy till. Many of the rioters who forced their way into the cellars got drunk, and perisha ed by the falling in of the flaming roof of the building. Six of these infatuated men who: were got out alive, but terribly bruised, were sent to the hospital. Ten dead bodies were afterwards dug out of the ruins. Among other things. destroyed in Mr. Ryland's, the most remarkable was the body of the late Mr. Baskerville, who. by his will ordered that he should be buried in his own house. A stone, closet was erected, where he was deposited in a standing posture.
On Friday afternoon, the 15th of July, the magistrates swore in several hundred additional. constables, who attacked the mob at Mr. Ryland's house, but after a severe contest, in which several men were wounded, the rioters were victo-. rious. Bordesley Hall, the country residence, of John Taylor, Esq. and Moseley Hall the property of the same gentleman, were both dee. stroyed by the mob. Mr. Hutton's house in High-street, with his stock of paper, library,, and furniture, were destroyed or carried away;; the houses of several other individuals were pillaged or burnt, and the whole of Saturday the shops in Birmingham were mostly shut, and bua sines was at a stand; while such was the auda
city of the rioters, that small parties of three or five actually levied contributions of meat; drink and money.
On Sunday the rioters proceeded to Kingswood, seven miles distant from the town, and destroyed the meeting-house, and the dwelling of the Dissenting minister, together with the premises of Mr. Cox..
The arrival of three troops of the 15th Light Dragoons on Sunday night, soon after ten, was announced by the sound of their trumpets, and the acclamations of the inhabitants. Anxiety which had been strongly depicted in every face during the day, was succeeded by the smiles of joy, and the congratulations of neighbours. The town was illuminated; the rioters,conscious of their delinquency, soon dispersed, and order was happily restored without bloodshed. The loss of the different individuals by this riot was estimated at £60,000. and an act of parțiament was obtained in 1793; to reimburse them.
In the month of August, at the assizes at Warwick, several of the rioters stood their trial, and Mr. Coke, counsel for the prosecution, in
his address to the jury, justly observed that there never was an occasion where government had acted more honourably; for they had undertaken, to the relief of the individual sufferers, the expence of those prosecutions. If a man was to be persecuted, because he held this or that religion, or this or that politicalopinion, he ought to leave this country: it did not deserve the name of his country. Dr. Priestley both in his private and public character was an honour to society, and held forth as bright an example of every virtue as any man in the country. But if a man's property was to be destroyed, and his life put in iminent danger, because he held certain political opinions, or because he preached certain doctrines, he ought to sell his country and leave it directly. The Dissenters were as respectable and quiet subjects as any in the country, and unless the jury convicted, and convicted with great attention, those who had been clearly guilty, persecution would make the Dissenters increase. It was manifest that they had been lately persecuted in the most infamous manner.
“ Gentlemen” he continued, “I have told you, and you know the fact to be so, that Dr. Priestley's house was pulled down, merely because he was a Dissenter. You know that this is no reason at all. Dr. Priestley's life is irreproachable ; and I believe that he would not have escaped with his life, if he had remained half an hour longer.”
Of three men, who were tried for beginning to demolish the house of Joseph Priestley, LL. D. two were found guilty, one of whom was afterwards pardoned, and the other executed. Thus two unfortunate men perished in consequence of the destruction of the Doctor's house, one being accidentally killed on the spot, and the other put to death. Unhappy deluded mortals, they were the victims of their own enthusiasm, while their instigators continued secure behind the curtain.
Soon after Dr. Priestley found an assylum in London, he was appointed successor to his friend Dr. Price, as pastor in the Dissenting Meeting at Hackney; but even here the demon of persecution pursued him; his political opinions had given, great offence to men in power, who doubtless dreaded the farther ani. madversions of his keen sarcastic genius. He therefore received a polite intimation, that his removal to another country was requisite, and
consequently bade a final adieu to his native land,' and embarked for America in 1794.
We cannot contemplate the departure of this philosopher to the western hemisphere without emotion. The future historian will record the fact with indignation, and posterity will hardly believe it. But Priestley, whose discoveries diffuse a brilliancy over his age and nation, only shared the fate of the great and good of the most celebrated nationsAristides, Socrates, and Cicero were also proscribed or banished.
It is to be regretted that we are in possession of so few documents respecting the pursuits of this philosopher, in the country where he found a pleasing retreat. His reception on the shore of Columbia, was certainly not equal to the expectations of his friends in this country. Yet he was treated with respect, and offered the place of chemical professor at Philadelphia, but he declined that honour.
He settled at Northumberland Town, on the banks of the Susquehannah, about 120 miles from Philadelphia, and purchased an estate of considerable extent, it is said not less that