Beddoes (1760-1808), a fervent humanitarian and chemist, was inspired by the heady ideals of the French Revolution and the wonders of Nitrous Oxide gas. In Bristol, he gathered a dazzling circle of like-minded artists and scientists who created a grand vision of providing free healthcare to the poor of the south-west.

Mike Jay is author of The Atmosphere of Heaven: The Unnatural Experiments of Dr Beddoes and his Sons of Genius.

A plaque to mark Thomas Beddoes’ gravel was unveiled in March 2011.

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