William Gray (1830 - 1917):
Antiquarian and writer
William Gray was born in County Cork, where he was educated. He worked as an engineer in England and developed an interest in geology and archaeology, especially the study of fossils. On returning to Ireland he became District Officer for the Board of Works in Belfast. He was a member of the Belfast Naturalists' Field Club and helped discover several important Stone Age sites, among them the early Mesolithic site at Mount Sandel, near Coleraine, County Londonderry, in the 1880s. He correctly dated the raised beach sites at Larne as post Ice Age. He was a member of the Royal Irish Academy and also of the British Association and was involved in the setting up of a Public Library system for Belfast. Among his publications is Irish Worked Flints, Ancient and Modern. His collection of Irish antiquities, including flint implements, was given to the Belfast Municipal Museum.