Floyer, Sir John

, an eminent physician, was born at Hinters, in Staffordshire, about 1649, and received his education at the university of Oxford, where the degree of doctor of physic was conferred upon him, on the 8th of July, 1680. He settled himself in the practice of his profession at Litchfield, in his native county; where his indefatigable attention to the sick, and the consequent practical skill which he attained, not only procured for him the confidence of the inhabitants, but gained him a reputation so extensive, that his sovereign honoured him with knighthood, as a reward for his talents. He was a great friend to the use of cold bathing, and left no means untried, by which he might disseminate the knowledge of its utility and safety, and bring the practice into general vogue: he particularly recommended it in chronic rheumatisms, and in nervous disorders, and he maintained that | consumptions had prevailed extensively in England only since the practice of baptizing children by immersion had been relinquished. This recommended his work in a very particular manner to the attention of the Baptists, whose historian, Crosby, has made some extracts from it in corroboration of the propriety of baptism by immersion. It appears to have been by sir John’s advice, that Dr. Johnson, when an infant, was sent up to London to be touched by queen Anne for the evil; a proof that he had not surmounted the prejudices of his age. Sir John died Feb. 1, 1734. The following are the titles of his different publications: 1. “The Touchstone of Medicines,London, 1687, 8vo. 2. “The Preternatural state of the Animal Humours described by their sensible qualities,London, 1696, 8vo, in which he maintained the doctrine of fermentation. 3; “An Enquiry into the right use of Baths,London, 1697, 8vo. This work afterwards appeared under different titles, such as “Ancient Psychrolusy revived,London, 1702 and the subject was more amply treated in another edition “History of hot and cold Bathing, ancient and modern, with an Appendix by Dr. Baynard,London, 1709, and again in 1715, and 1722. It was also in some measure renewed in his “Essay to restore the dipping of infants in their baptism,1721. 4. His next work was “A Treatise on the Asthma,” first published in 1698, and re-published in 1717 and 1726. He was himself the subject of asthma from the age of puberty, yet lived to be an old man. 5. “The Physicians’ Pulsewatch,1707 and 1710, in 2 vols. 8vo. Sir John Floyer was one of the first to count the pulsations of the arteries; for although the pulse had been the subject of observation from ancient times, the number of beats in a given time had not been attended to. 6. “Medici na Geronomica; of preserving old men’s health; with an appendix concerning the use of oil and unction, and a letter on the regimen of younger years,” Lond. 1724. Several of these treatises were translated into the continental languages. 1

1

Rees’s Cyclopædia. —Boswell’s Life of JohnsonAth. Ox, vol. If, Crosby’s Hist, of Baptists.