Artist and diarist, Lucy Gray, was a daughter of Dr John Waters, an physician of Anglo-Irish descent. Her place of birth was Birr, later Parsontown, a small town west of Dublin. Lucy remained proud of her Irish heritage all her life. In 1862 she migrated to New Zealand with her evangelical friend, Maria Rye, where she was employed as a governess. After a failed love affair she left New Zealand for Sydney, arriving in late 1865. She waas briefly employed as an art teacher by the Mort family, before returning to England in March, 1866.
In May, 1868, Lucy married Charles Gray, the son of neighbours with family ties to North Queensland. Two months later the couple set sail for Australia and shortly afterwards set out for Queensland, arriving in the Hughendon district in September 1868. Lucy's illustrated journal describes the journey in considerable detail. Lucy lived in North Queensland until November 1875, during which time she continued to keep her journal. Among its numerous small sketches are several of the huts on the Grays' property and a view of Mount McConnell on the Flinders River. The illustrations are usually incorporated within the text. She clearly intended her journal to be quite widely circulated, even if only within the family, and reworked both illustrations and journal. Occasionally two versions of the same illustration or diary extract survive, with one being clearly the more polished.
In 1876 the Grays toured Europe and visited America and Canada, before sailing for New Zealand, arriving in November, 1877, and settling in the Gisborne district on the east coast of the North Island. In September 1879 Lucy fell ill and she died, apparently of tuberculosis, on 2 December, 1879.