The John Ray and Lindisfarne

During our recent retreat to Lindisfarne Suzanne revealed the sharpness of her eyes by finding 5 ‘St Cuthbert’s beads’. The rest of us failed to find one for all the intensity of our search at the water’s edge!
Scanning Wikipedia I was surprised to discover that the earliest reference to this folk name for what are actually 300 million old fragments of sea-bed dwelling crinoids came from the journal of ‘a John Ray’, who visited the island in 1671.Which got me checking. The pioneer scientist John Ray, who catalogued birds, fish and flowers and is known popularly as the founder of modern botany and ornithology was active at that time; so I did some quick research. According to Charlles Raven’s biography Ray was in Lindisfarne in that year, so it looks as if wiki has used the wrong word- it definately should be the John Ray, not a John Ray.

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