John ray 1627 1705
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John Ray 1627-1705. Father of English natural history. Born in Essex, England Parents – Dad –blacksmith Mom – herbalist, healer Passion for plants and the natural world From his mom’s interest in herbal plant remedies Devout Christian Married 1673 Margaret Oakley-

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John Ray 1627-1705

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John ray 1627 1705

John Ray1627-1705


Father of english natural history

Father of English natural history

  • Born in Essex, England

  • Parents –

    • Dad –blacksmith

    • Mom – herbalist, healer

    • Passion for plants and the natural world

      From his mom’s interest in

      herbal plant remedies

    • Devout Christian

      Married 1673 Margaret Oakley-

      ¾ daughters survived him


British history 17 th century britain

British History ~ 17th century Britain

  • 1625 Charles 1st King

  • Ray born in 1627 – a very turbulent time in British history

  • Civil War 1640-1660

    1645 : Ray’s predecessor in field studies and botany, Thomas Johnson, was killed while fighting for the Royalists.

  • Charles II – 1660 returned to rule as King of England


Education and professional career

Education and professional career

Cambridge University educated:

  • 1644 – 1648 studied mathematics, natural science, and languages

  • 1649 became a minor fellow

  • 1650 began to study plants in spare time

  • 1651 became a lecturer in Greek, Math, and Humanities

  • 1658 became a junior dean

  • 1660 ordained as a priest in the Anglican church

  • 1660 First county flora by James Ray


British history 17 th century britain1

British History ~ 17th century Britain

1660-1680

  • Charles II – 1660 returned to rule as King of England

    • By the Act of Uniformity (1661-2) - Protestant Church of England - ministers had to swear an oath condemning the Covenant, or resign ~ ‘Great Ejection’ Almost 2k ministers, 1/5 of all the clergy, were dismissed and forbidden to teach religion by word or pen.

    • Ray did not sign or condemn the oath, thus he lost his house, botanic garden and university post

  • 1665 – black plague

  • 1666- great fire in London


British history 17 th century britain2

British History ~ 17th century Britain

  • In 1685 James II succeeded his late brother Charles II

  • James left England 1688 he fled from the ‘Glorious Revolution’.

  • The Stuart dynasty was overthrown in Revolution of 1688

  • The crown passed to James’ daughter Mary Stuart, whose husband was Dutch Prince, William of Orange.

  • William and Mary reigned - peaceful prosperous period

  • 1689 Act of Toleration – allowed Ray to begin writing some of his most famous theological works


Academic accomplishments

Academic accomplishments

  • Wrote first County flora

  • Took a number of expeditions to study the plants of Britain:

  • Took expeditions around Europe 1663 for three years – observed and collected plants, animals, rocks (Germany, France, Italy)

  • Ray spent many years cataloguing and analyzing the material gathered on this and other expeditions.

The Peaks & North Wales, 1658The Lakes & Isle of Man, 1659The North & Scotland, 1661Wales & the South West, 1662


Academic accomplishments1

Academic accomplishments

  • Founder of both botany and zoology in Britain

  • Coined the terms flower ‘petal’ and ‘pollen’

  • First Botanist to distinguish between monocotyledon and dicotyledon

  • Believed that fossils were once living organisms – at odds with whether God would allow extinction…a new idea…

  • Historia Plantarum was the first textbook of modern botany.


Dicot versus moncot

Dicot versus Moncot


Academic accomplishments2

Academic accomplishments

  • Prior to Ray – only used reproductive organs for classification. Ray advocated using many traits to distinguish differences.

  • No one moved systematic classification any further until Carl Linneaus (1701-1778)

  • Accomplished decades before his time in understanding the function of plant and animal forms and animal behavior. Methodus Insectorum, printed 1705.

  • First to prove that wood of living tree

    conducts water.


Academic accomplishments3

Academic accomplishments

  • Devout Christian

  • ‘natural theology’ = doctrine that the wisdom and power of God could be understood by studying the natural world

  • “There is for a free man no occupation more worthy and delightful than to contemplate the beauteous works of nature and honor the infinite wisdom and goodness of God. “

  • ‘Natural Theology’ influenced many 19th century natural historians that in turn influenced Charles Darwin


Academic accomplishments4

Academic accomplishments

  • 1667 – Admitted as a Fellow into the Royal Society

  • 1668 – invited to become the Secretary of the Royal Society but he declined.

    • Chose to focus on divinity as his primary vocation

    • Educated Sir Francis Willughby’s children and helped publish Willughby’s research on birds.

    • Willughby left a pension in his will allowing Ray to follow his passions for science and theological studies for the remainder of his life.


Academic and life accomplishments

Academic and Life accomplishments

1655: Father died and he bought his mom a cottage “Dewlands”

1679: Returned to his birth place, Black Notley,after

the death of his mother, and moved into Dewlands.

Stayed in contact with scientific community by post

Samuel Dale, a local neighbor, helped Ray catalogue his specimens, including many insects

Sameul Dale was inspired to become a biologist as well!


Scholarly works

Scholarly works

  • 1660 - Cambridge Catalogue - first county Flora.

  • 1691 - The Wisdom of God manifested in the Works of Creation, by John Ray, 1691

  • 1692 Three Physico-Theological Discourses

  • 1705 - Methodus Insectorum, printed.

  • Catalogus Plantarum circa Cantabrigiam nascentium

  • Catalogus Plantarum Angliae

  • Collection of English Proverbs

  • Observations topographical, moral and physiological

  • Collection of English Words not generally used

  • Dictionalarium Trilinguae

  • Ornithologiae Libri tres (Willughby)

  • Methodus Plantarum Nova

  • Historia Piscium - fish

  • Historia Plantarum

  • Fasciculus Stirpium Brittanicarum

  • Synopsis methodica Stirpium Brittanicorum

  • Miscellaneous Discourses

  • Synopsis methodica Animalium Quadrupedum et Sepentini Generis - animals

  • Collection of Curious travels and Voyages

  • Stirpium Europaerrum extra Brittanias nascentium Sylloge

  • De variis Plantarum Methodis Disseratio brevis

  • Persuasive to a Holy Life

  • Historia insectorum - insects

  • Synopsis methodica Avium et Piscium


Summary

Summary

  • Father of English natural history ~Founder of both botany and zoology in Britain

  • First to prove that wood of living tree conducts water.

  • Coined the terms flower ‘petal’ and ‘pollen’

  • First Botanist to distinguish between monocotyledon and dicotyledon

  • Believed that fossils were once living organisms – at odds with whether God would allow extinction…a new idea…


References

References

  • http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/ray.html

  • http://www.jri.org.uk/johnray.htm

  • http://books.google.com/books?id=dKwPAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=john+ray&client=firefox-a


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