John Durbin Gray (1845 – 1925) was the son of John Durbin Gray, sometime vicar of Abbotsley (Huntingdonshire) and Rector of Market Weston (Suffolk). Rev John Durbin Gray (Senior – born 1822) was educated at Balliol College, Oxford (1839 – 43) and there is a possibility that he also collected – there are a few sheets at H@H that are very early. He died in Clifton in 1887.
John Durbin Gray (Junior) was educated at Clare College, Cambridge (1865). He was sometime Curate at St Leonard’s, Colchester and later Vicar at Nayland, near Colchester. Later he lived at Undercliffe, St Leonards. He died in March, 1925.
In 1908, he donated some 5000+ sheets to the herbarium at Cambridge – which were noted in the herbarium records as follows
“almost complete with regard to the British Flora …. and works and papers on Systematic Botany, including Hanbury’s Hieracia and Fryer’s Potamogenaceae”.
Gray helped with the fieldwork to W M Hind’s “Flora of Suffolk, a topographical enumeration of the plants of the county, showing the results of former observations and of the most recent researches ”, and his contribution is acknowledged in the introduction to this work.
He is also credited with finding Floating Water Plantain * in the Llangollen Canal in 1883. Apart from his botanical collections, he was interested in various archaeological remains and wrote on neolithic artefacts and culture.
* The conservation value of Shropshire’s canals by Alex Lockton; Shropshire botanical Society Newsletter – Spring 2000 – pages 9-14