daysoff Guide to Braintree

Local Hero - John Ray


John Ray (Naturalist and Botanist) was born in Black Notley, Essex in 1627. He studied at Cambridge, where he became a fellow of Trinity College in 1649, but he lost his post for religious reasons. With a pupil (Francis Willoughby 1635-72) he travelled widely in Europe studying botany and zoology. He devised a system of classification of plants with the emphasis on the species as the basic unit, and he was the first to note the importance of the difference between monocotyledons and dicotyledons. This became the foundation of modern taxonomy. His major work was the three volume 'Historia Plantarum'.


Back to Top of John Ray page

Back to Braintree index page