George Tradescant Lay
George Tradescant Lay was a British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

Naturalist may refer to:* Practitioner of natural history* Conservationist* Advocate of naturalism * Naturalist , autobiography-See also:* The American Naturalist, periodical* Naturalism...

, missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 and diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...


Lay was a naturalist on the English sailing ship HMS Blossom
HMS Blossom (1806)
HMS Blossom was an 18-gun Cormorant-class sloop-of-war. She was built in 1806 and is best known for the 1825–1828 expedition under Captain Beechey to the Pacific Ocean. She explored as far north as Point Barrow, Alaska, the furthest point into the Arctic any non-Inuit had been at the time...

 under the command of Captain Frederick William Beechey
Frederick William Beechey
Frederick William Beechey was an English naval officer and geographer. He was the son of Sir William Beechey, RA., and was born in London.-Career:...

 from 1825 to 1828, where he collected specimens in the Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 including California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

, Kamchatka, China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, and other South Pacific islands. He is credited as being one of the discoverers of Layia gaillardioides
Layia gaillardioides
Layia gaillardioides is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family known by the common name woodland tidytips.It is endemic to California, where it grows on the coastline and in the coastal mountain ranges in the northern and central parts of the state.-Description:This is an aromatic annual...

, as a result having the genus Layia
Layia is a genus of flowering plants in the daisy family known generally as tidy tips. There are about fourteen species of tidytips, which are native to western North America. Several are California endemics. These are erect daisylike annual herbs with dark glandular stems...

named after him.

He then went on to become a missionary in China for the British and Foreign Bible Society
British and Foreign Bible Society
The British and Foreign Bible Society, often known in England and Wales as simply as Bible Society, is a non-denominational Christian Bible society with charity status whose purpose is to make the Bible available throughout the world....

 from 1836 to 1839. During this time, he studied the Chinese language and culture. Upon returning to England in 1839, his experience in China helped him obtain a position of British Consul
Consul (representative)
The political title Consul is used for the official representatives of the government of one state in the territory of another, normally acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, and to facilitate trade and friendship between the peoples of the two countries...

 in China. He was posted in Canton
Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

 in 1843, then Foochow
Fuzhou is the capital and one of the largest cities in Fujian Province, People's Republic of China. Along with the many counties of Ningde, those of Fuzhou are considered to constitute the Mindong linguistic and cultural area....

 in 1844, and finally Amoy
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

 in 1845, before passing away later that year from a fever
Fever is a common medical sign characterized by an elevation of temperature above the normal range of due to an increase in the body temperature regulatory set-point. This increase in set-point triggers increased muscle tone and shivering.As a person's temperature increases, there is, in...


His son, Horatio Nelson Lay
Horatio Nelson Lay
Horatio Nelson Lay , was a British diplomat, noted for his role in the ill-fated "Lay-Osborn Flotilla" during the Taiping Rebellion.-Early life:...

following in his footsteps, was also a diplomat in China.

Published works

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