chapter  3
Dr. Joseph Priestley, John Wilkinson and the French Revolution, 1789–1802
WithD. A. Farnie, W. O. Henderson
Pages 17

This chapter focuses on a collection of letters, sixty-nine in number, mainly from Dr. Joseph Priestley to John Wilkinson the ironmaster, which have been for many years deposited in Warrington Public Library. In the early 1790s Wilkinson made a present of some property to those of the doctor's children who had emigrated to the U.S.A., including a considerable sum in shares of the 'old' French East India Company. The letter offered some advice to the French on the subject of invading England, combined with information about British morale. Later in 1791 he went to Paris, where in September 1792 he presided over a dinner of British residents to celebrate the victories of the French armies. In January 1794 Dr. Priestley told Wilkinson that the scheme of buying a tract of land originated with one of Benjamin Vaughan's younger brothers, John Vaughan, who had set up as a merchant in Philadelphia.