Perhaps the most under-appreciated British scientist, Ray pioneered the rational taxonomisation of the life sciences, providing a platform for Linnaeus’ subsequent work. Barrow, a fellow-student at Cambridge, became a great friend. Willughby, also met at Cambridge, accompanied him on expeditions, and supported him when he resigned his fellowship. Wilkins also gave him house-room – Ray translated one of his works into Latin. Rivinus (in Leipzig), Sloane, Oldenburg and Hooke were among his scientific correspondents. Magnol and Steno were met in Montpellier. His work on fishes so strained the Royal Society’s finances that Hooke and Halley were paid in extra copies.