George Tradescant Lay

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George Tradescant Lay (c. 1800 - November 6, 1845) was a British naturalist, missionary and diplomat.

Lay was a naturalist on the English sailing ship HMS Blossom under the command of Captain Frederick William Beechey from 1825 to 1828, where he collected specimens in the Pacific including California, Alaska, Kamchatka, China, Mexico, South America, and Hawaii, and other South Pacific islands. He is credited as being one of the discoverers of Layia gaillardioides, as a result having the genus Layia named for him.

He then went on to become a missionary in China for the British and Foreign Bible Society 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 in China. He was posted in Canton in 1843, then Foochow in 1844, and finally Amoy in 1845, before dying later that year from a fever.

His son, Horatio Nelson Lay following in his footsteps, was also a diplomat in China.

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