Ray , John
(1627–1705) English naturalist and taxonomist
Ray, a blacksmith's son from Black Notley, Essex, attended Braintree Grammar School, where he benefited from a trust established to finance needy scholars at Cambridge University. He graduated in 1648 and became a fellow the following year, but his university career ended with the Restoration: as a Puritan, he refused to take the oath required by the Act of Uniformity and he lost his fellowship in 1662.
His activities as a naturalist were funded thereafter by friends from Cambridge, in particular by Francis Willughby, who helped him with the ambitious project of describing all known living things. From 1663 to 1666 Ray and Willughby traveled through Europe, widening their knowledge of the flora and fauna. On their return Ray moved into Willughby's house so that they could collaborate in writing up the work. In 1667 Ray published a catalog of British plants. In the same year he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.
Willughby died in 1672 but left money in his will to enable Ray to continue their project. Between 1686 and 1704 Ray publishedHistoria plantarum (History of Plants), a three-volume encyclopedia of plants describing 18,600 species. In it he emphasized the importance in classification of distinguishing between the monocotyledons and the dicotyledons but more importantly he fixed the species as the basic unit in the taxonomic hierarchy.
Ray also attempted to classify the animal kingdom. In 1693 he published a system based on a number of structural characters, including internal anatomy, which provided a more natural classification than those being produced by his contemporaries.
Ray is also remembered for his theological writings, in which he used the homologies he had perceived in nature as evidence for the necessity of an omniscient creator.

Scientists. . 2011.

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  • Ray,John — Ray, John. 1627 1705. English naturalist who was the first to use anatomy to distinguish between specific plants and animals and established “species” as the basic classification of living things. * * * …   Universalium

  • Ray, John — born Nov. 29, 1627, Black Notley, Essex, Eng. died Jan. 17, 1705, Black Notley British naturalist and botanist. He attended Cambridge University and spent many years there as a fellow. With Francis Willughby (1635–1672) he undertook a complete… …   Universalium

  • Ray, John — (29 nov. 1627, Black Notley, Essex, Inglaterra–17 ene. 1705, Black Notley). Naturalista y botánico británico. Estudió en la Universidad de Cambridge y pasó ahí muchos años como miembro de la entidad. Junto con Francis Willughby (n.1635–m.1672)… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Ray, John — Wray, John …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • RAY, JOHN —    English naturalist, born in Essex; studied at Cambridge; travelled extensively collecting specimens in the departments of both botany and zoology, and classifying them, and wrote works on both as well as on theology (1628 1705) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Ray, John — (1627 1705)    Naturalist, s. of a blacksmith at Black Notley, Essex, was at Camb., where he became a Fellow of Trinity, and successively lecturer on Greek and mathematics. His first publication was a Latin catalogue of plants growing near… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • John Ray — John Ray. John Ray (29 de noviembre de 1627 en la villa de Black Notley, cerca de Braintree (Essex) 17 de enero de 1705 en Black p Notley),fue un naturalista inglés, a veces llamado el padre de la historia natural británica. Hasta 1670, firmó… …   Wikipedia Español

  • John Ray — (* 29. November 1627 in Black Notley, Braintree, Essex; † 17. Januar 1705 ebenda) war ein britischer Theologe, Altphilologe und Naturforscher und wird auch als Vater der englischen Botanik bezeichnet. Vor 1670 schrieb er sich John Wray …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ray (surname) — Ray is a common surname in India, and is also found in many English speaking countries. In India, the same name is also sometimes spelled Roy, and comes from the same root as Raj, which is also the root of the Latin rex (king), English reign and… …   Wikipedia

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