Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gray, William

GRAY, WILLIAM (1802?–1835), miscellaneous writer, born about 1802, was the only son of James Gray of Kircudbright, Scotland (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886, ii. 554). He matriculated at Oxford on 30 Oct. 1824 as a gentleman commoner of St. Alban Hall, but on the death of the principal, Peter Elmsley, to whom he was much attached, he removed in 1825 to Magdalen College, where he graduated B.A. on 25 June 1829, and M.A. on 2 June 1831. While at Oxford he occasionally contributed to the ‘Oxford Herald.’ His account of Elmsley in that journal was transferred to the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ for April 1825. He edited the ‘Miscellaneous Works of Sir Philip Sidney, with a Life of the Author and Illustrative Notes,’ 8vo, Oxford, 1829 (another edition, 8vo, Boston, U.S.A., 1860). In 1829 he projected an ‘Oxford Literary Gazette,’ of which six numbers only appeared. Gray was called to the bar by the Society of the Inner Temple on 10 June 1831; but ill-health prevented him from practising. His last work was an ‘Historical Sketch of the Origin of English Prose Literature, and of its Progress till the Reign of James I,’ 8vo, Oxford, 1835. He died at Dumfries on 29 Nov. 1835 (Gent. Mag. 1836, i. 326–7).

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G. G.