The information below is derived from many sources; major reference texts are listed at the foot of the page.
British botanist and mycologist Samuel Frederick Gray was a pharmacologist by profession, and most of his publications were on medical matters; however, he was also actively involved in botany and mycology.
Born in Pall Mall, London on 10th December 1766, S F Gray was the son of a seedsman (also named Samuel); however, Gray the younger chose medicine as a career. Having failed to qualify as a physician, he set up as an assayer in Walsall, Staffordshire and supplemented his income by publishing medical and botanical works. It appears that writing and lecturing eventually became Gray's only source of income.
S F Gray had a daughter and three sons. The middle son, John Edward Gray (1800 - 1875), is widely accredited as being the author all but the introductory sections of S F Gray's A Natural Arrangement of British Plants, which was published in two volumes in 1821. This work covered not only plants but also fungi (including nearly 400 lichenised fungi).
Samuel Frederick Gray died in Chelsea, London on 12th April 1828.
The standard abbreviation Gray denotes Samuel Frederick Gray in botanical/mycological citations, and anyone interested in macrofungi will come across Gray in the names of many fungi species in, for example, the Auriscalpium, Coltricia, Leccinum, and Steccherinum genera which were established in the S F Gray publication mentioned above.
Ainsworth, Geoffrey C. (1996) Brief Biographies of British Mycologists; British Mycological Society.
A. E. Gunther, ‘The miscellaneous autobiographical manuscripts of John Edward Gray (1800–1875)’, Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) [Historical Series], 6 (1977–80), pp199–244.
Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O'Reilly 2011
If you have found this information helpful, please consider helping to keep First Nature online by making a small donation towards the web hosting and internet costs.
Any donations over and above the essential running costs will help support the conservation work of Plantlife, the Rvers Trust and charitable botanic gardens - as do author royalties and publisher proceeds from Pat and Sue's nature books - available from First Nature...