London’s oldest terraced house gets Blue Plaque for philosopher and preacher

The house which will get a Blue Plaque in honour of Richard Price  (English Heritage)
The house which will get a Blue Plaque in honour of Richard Price (English Heritage)

London’s oldest surviving terraced house will get the capital’s first blue plaque of the year in memory of the 18th century radical and preacher who lived there.

English Heritage will install the plaque at 54 Newington Green, which dates from 1658, to mark the life of Dr Richard Price who lived there  from around 1758 to 1787.

The house, which has survived the Great Fire of London and the Blitz, still has the turret room where Price studied and corresponded with the likes of American founding fathers Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson – a relationship which saw the house raided by police at least once.

Newsreader Huw Edwards 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.”

The plaque honouring Richard Price (English Heritage)
The plaque honouring Richard Price (English Heritage)

Price’s time in Newington Green, then a rural suburb of the capital, saw him rub shoulders with friends including the chemist Joseph Priestley, who is credited with discovering oxygen, and the pioneering feminist Mary Wollstonecraft who was part of his congregation at the nearby Unitarian Chapel.

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.”