S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Wray, Mr Leonard (sugar cultivation)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

Leonard Wray was a sugar planter in the West Indies, East Indies and the Straits of Malacca for 16 years before publishing The practical sugar planter; a complete account of the cultivation and manufacture of the sugar-cane... (London, 1848, 415 p). In this work he described the different methods of sugar cultivation used in the countries where he had farmed. Later he came to the Cape Colony and settled in British Kaffraria (now part of the Eastern Cape). However, by 1852 he appears to have moved to Natal, where he was declared insolvent. In 1854 he wrote a treatise on The Zulu-Kaffir Imphee, or "sweet reed" (the Holcus saccharatus of Linnaeus), comprising a description of its numerous varieties; its mode of cultivation; and the manufacture of sugar and other products from its rich saccharine juice. This work was published for private circulation in London in 1854 (45p), while a French translation was published in Paris that same year. Three years later this treatise was included, with the same title, in a book by Henry S. Olcott, Sorgho and imphee, the Chinese and African sugar canes (New York, edition?, 1857, pp. 193-249; also 6th ed., 1858). It included a description of Wray's patented process for crystallising sugar from the juice of the imphee.

Wray had a son, also named Leonard, who was born in 1852 and in the eighteen-nineties published on tin prospecting, fish culture, rubber cultivation, silk cultivation, etc. in Perak and Malacca, on the Malay Peninsula.

List of sources:
National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). . Documents relating to Wray, Leonard.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979 (Vol. 1-4), and Cape Town: SA Library, 1991 (Vol. 5).

Compiled by: C. Plug