Ray, Benjamin

, an ingenious and worthy man, who is described as possessed of learning, but ignorant of the world; indolent and thoughtless, and often very absent; was a native of $palding, where he was educated under Dr. Neve, and afterwards admitted of St. John’s college,

Christopher Layer, a young But, being reprieved from time to

counsellor of the Temple, was appre- time, the House of Commons appointed

headed in the middle of Sept. 1722, a committee to examine him in relaand, attempting his escape next day, tiou to the conspiracy. He declined

was overtaken, and committed to the making any discovery; and was exeTower. He was examined Sept, 21, cuted at Tyburn May 17, 1721—2, and

before the privy council j and, after a his head fixed upon Temple-bar. In

trial of J8 hours, in the king’s bench, a short speech he justified what he had

on an indictment for inlisting men in done, and recommended the interest

Essex for the Pretender’s service, and of the Pretender. His trial was printcorresponding with them, was conTict- ed some time before his execution.

d, and received sentence of death. Tindal’s Contin. of Rapin, IV. 666. | Cambridge. He was perpetual curate of Surfleef, of which he gave an account to the Spalcling Society; and curate of Cowbitt, which is a chapel to Spalding, in the gift of trustees. His hermitage of osiers and willows there was celebrated, by William Jackson of Boston, in a ms heroic poem. He communicated to the Royal Society an account of a water-spout raised off the land in Deeping fen, printed in their “Transactions,” vol. XLVII. p. 447, and of an ancient coin, to “Gent. Mag. 1744.” There are several dissertations by him in that miscellany. He was secretary to the Spalding society in 1735. Mr. Pegge, about 1758, had a consultation with Dr. Taylor, residentiary of St. Paul’s, and a friend of Ray’s, to get him removed to a better situation, and the doctor was inclined to do it; but, on better information and mature consideration, it was thought then too late to transplant him. He died a bachelor at Spalding in 1760. See his communications to the society, in the Reliquiae Galeanae, pp. 57, 58, 3. He also communicated, in ms. “The Truth of the Christian Religion demonstrated from the Report that was propagated throughout the Gentile World about the Birth of Christ, that a Messiah was expected, and from the Authority of Heathen Writers, and from the Coins of the Roman Emperors to the beginning of the second general persecution under Domitian,” in ten sections, never printed. Also a ms catalogue of household goods, furniture, and ten pictures, removed out of the presence-chamber, 26 Charles II. 14 Dec. 1668, from Mr. Brown, and of others taken out of the cupboard in the chamber, 25 Dec. 1668, by Mr. Church. These were in number 69. (Percy Church, esq. was some time page of honour and equerry to the queen-mother Henrietta Maria.) A ms catalogue of Italian princes, palaces, and paintings, 1735, now in the Society’s Museum. In 1740, a large and well-written history of the life and writings of the great botanist, his namesake, by Mr. Dale, which was read, and approved. John Ray’s account of Cuba, where he was on shore some months. Mr. Johnson calls him his kinsman, and says, in honour of him, he finds an inscription on the lower ledge of an altar-tomb, on which lies a mutilated alabaster knight in armour and mail in Gosberkirke, alias Gosberton chapel, now a school at Surfleet, to belong to Nicolas Rie, who was sheriff of Lincolnshire 5 and 6 Edw. I. 1278, and died 1279 or 80. 1

1 Nichols’s Bowyer.
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