A scientific author, he was born into a staunch Wesleyan background on 29 January 1864 in *Bristol. His grandfather, John Gregory (died 5 January 1885), had been a WM member for 65 years and a local preacher for 42 years and has a memorial tablet in the WM chapel at *Bideford. The family moved to Bristol, where Richard Gregory began his education at the Baptis Mills Wesleyan School.Leaving school at the age of 12, he was apprenticed to a shoemaker before being appointed a lab assistant at Clifton College. He became an alto soloist in a Wesleyan church choir and also came under the influence of an Anglican curate, the Rev. T.W. Harvey. In 1885 he won a scholarship which enabled him to move to Londo and become a student at the Normal School of Science in South Kensington. He became a friend of a fellow student H.G. Wells and later collaborated with him in developing scientific education. His most significant book was Discovery, the Spirit and Service of Science (1916). He was appointed scientific editor for the publishers Macmillans and in 1919 became the influential editor of Nature. His other books included Religion in Science and Civilisation (1940) and Gods and Men: a testimony of Science and religion (1949). He was knighted in 1931 and made FRS in 1933. He died at Middleton-on-Sea on 15 September 1952.
'At Middleton … he was loved for his unfailing graciousness and warmhearted sense of fun… He had friends in every church and understood their faiths… He mixed with everyone, possessing a deep and abiding interest in all associations of men of good will. He could speak to the Rationalist Society and at the same time secretly contribute to the funds of the Salvation Army. He was a member of the couincil of the YMCA… He was never tired of pointing out that the real conflict of the twentieth century as of its predecessors was not between Christianity and Science, but between obscurantism and enlightenment.'
W.H.G. Armytage, Sir Richard Gregory, his life and work (1957) pp. 217,222, 223