Deering, Charles

, or Doering, an ingenious but unfortunate physician, was a native of Saxony, who took his degrees in physic at Leyden, and came to England, according to Mr. Martyn, in the train of a foreign ambassador; but another account pays, that soon after he came to London he was appointed secretary to the British ambassador at the Russian court. Both accounts may probably be true. Dr. Pulteney thinks he settled in London about 1720, where he practised physic and midwifery, and having a strong bias to the study of botany, became one of the members of the society established by Dr. Dillenius and Mr. Martyn, which subsisted from 17*1 to 1726. In 1736 he removed to Nottingham, tinder the recommendation of sir Hans Sloane, and was at first well received, and very successful in his treatment of the smallpox, which disease was highly epidemical at that place soon after his arrival; but he incurred the censure of the faculty by his pretensions to a nostrum. In 1737 he published “An Account of an improved method of treating the Small-pox, in a letter to sir Thomas Parkyns, bart.” 8vo. By this it appears, that his medicine was of the antiphlogistic kind, and that he was one of the first who introduced the cool regimen.

Dr. Deering shewed his attachment to botanical pursuits by his assiduity in collecting such ample materials for his “Catalogue,” in less than two years after settling at Nottingham. It was published under the title “A Catalogue of Plants naturally gruuiog and commonly cultivated in | divers parts of England, more especially about Netting-­ham, &e.” 1738, 8vo. This useful work might have been greatly enlarged and improved by the author had he been endowed with some degree of prudence, or a happier temper; but owing to the want of these he very early lost the little interest which his character and success had at first gained. Yet he was a man of great learning, and master of nine languages, ancient and modern. He had also a knowledge of designing, and was an ingenious mechanic. After his failure in the practice of medicine, his friends attempted several schemes to alleviate his necessities. Among others, they procured him a commission in the regiment raised at Nottingham on account of the rebellion; but this proved more honourable than profitable. He was afterwards employed in a way more agreeable to his genius and talents; being furnished with materials, and enabled, with the assistance of John Plumtree, esq. and others, to write “The History of Nottingham,” which, however, he did not live to publish. He had been troubled with the gout at a very early period, and in the latter stage of his life he suffered long confinements in this disease, and became asthmatical. Being at length reduced to a degree of poverty and dependence, which his spirit could not sustain, oppressed with calamity and complicated disease, he died April 12, 1749, Two of his principal creditors administered to his effects, and buried him in St. Peter’s church-yard, opposite the house in which he lived. He left a Hortus Siccus of the plants in his “Catalogue,” a volume of paintings of the fungi, by his own hand, and some Mss. His “Nottinghamia Vetus et Nova,” or History of Nottingham, was published by his administrators, George Ayscough, printer, and Thomas Wellington, druggist, at Nottingham, in 1751, 4to, embellished with plates. One of the most remarkable articles in this volume is, a complete description of that curious machine, the stockingframe, invented upwards of two centuries ago by William Lee, M. A. of St. John’s college, Cambridge, a native of Woodborough, near Nottingham. All the parts are separately and minutely described in the technical terms, and illustrated by two views of the whole, and by a large table, delineating with great accuracy, every constituent part of the machine. 1


Pulteney’s Hist. Sketches of Botany. Preface to Martyn’s Dissertations on the Æneids. —Gent. Mag. LIII. 1014.