John Ray was one of the most influential British natural philosophers of the 17th century. His model of natural history served as an organizing principle for the philosophic understanding of living nature and his works on natural theology were seminal. Many modern historians have placed Ray within the Puritan tradition, primarily based on Ray's choice, as an ordained Anglican priest, to leave his fellowship at Cambridge rather than subscribe to the Act of Uniformity in 1662. However, Ray left no explicit evidence of either his religious or political views during this period and his reasons for refusing to subscribe to the Act are not transparent. My analysis of his early Essex environment, his friends and associates at Cambridge University, his correspondence during the crucial years of 1660–62 and the strategies he pursued in his only contemporary published work, the Catalogus Plantarum circa Cantabrigiam (1660) provide no evidence to situate Ray within a Puritan framework and much evidence to suggest that Ray remained committed to Anglican and loyalist principles throughout his career.