PDA

View Full Version : The Death Of James Price



Aspiring Alkemist
07-31-2018, 02:37 PM
"In January 1783, Price returned to his laboratory in Guildford, ostensibly to start production of the miraculous powders. In fact, he set about the distillation of laurel water (which contained prussic acid). He wrote his will at the same time, but it was another six months before he returned to London to invite members of the Royal Society to witness the experiment on 3 August in his laboratory in Guildford.

Despite the success of his initial demonstrations and the furor they had caused, only three members turned up in Guildford on the appointed day. Although clearly disappointed by the poor turnout, Price welcomed the three men and then, stepping to one side, drank the flask of laurel water he had prepared. The three men immediately noticed a change in his appearance, but before they could do anything, Price was dead."

Three different interpretations for what is generally considered the "suicide" of the famous alchemist James Price have been suggested, yet which of them is the truth?

One suggestion that being the most common is that he committed suicide of his own accord in order to either hide his secret from the world or to release himself from having to publicly confront the fact that he was a charlatan.

A second theory is that the 3 witnesses present at the time of his death helped him commit suicide in order to shroud the knowledge.

Yet a third theory is that the 3 witnesses murdered him.

What are some thoughts on which of these scenarios seems most probable?

JDP
07-31-2018, 06:01 PM
"In January 1783, Price returned to his laboratory in Guildford, ostensibly to start production of the miraculous powders. In fact, he set about the distillation of laurel water (which contained prussic acid). He wrote his will at the same time, but it was another six months before he returned to London to invite members of the Royal Society to witness the experiment on 3 August in his laboratory in Guildford.

Despite the success of his initial demonstrations and the furor they had caused, only three members turned up in Guildford on the appointed day. Although clearly disappointed by the poor turnout, Price welcomed the three men and then, stepping to one side, drank the flask of laurel water he had prepared. The three men immediately noticed a change in his appearance, but before they could do anything, Price was dead."

Three different interpretations for what is generally considered the "suicide" of the famous alchemist James Price have been suggested, yet which of them is the truth?

One suggestion that being the most common is that he committed suicide of his own accord in order to either hide his secret from the world or to release himself from having to publicly confront the fact that he was a charlatan.

A second theory is that the 3 witnesses present at the time of his death helped him commit suicide in order to shroud the knowledge.

Yet a third theory is that the 3 witnesses murdered him.

What are some thoughts on which of these scenarios seems most probable?

He likely found samples of those transmuting "tinctures" he used in the demonstrations, then when he ran out he could not perform any more demonstrations, and then committed suicide before admitting that, contrary to what he had claimed, he was not the one who had prepared them. It's not like similar cases had no already happened before.

Kiorionis
07-31-2018, 06:25 PM
Who were the 3 witnesses?

Aspiring Alkemist
07-31-2018, 08:39 PM
He likely found samples of those transmuting "tinctures" he used in the demonstrations, then when he ran out he could not perform any more demonstrations, and then committed suicide before admitting that, contrary to what he had claimed, he was not the one who had prepared them. It's not like similar cases had no already happened before.

Interesting I had not heard or considered this variation before.


Who were the 3 witnesses?

They were members of the Secret Society he belonged to called The Royal Society.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Society