Doody, Samuel

, an ingenious botanist, and the author of some discoveries in the indigenous botany, was a native of Staffordshire, which he left to settle in London as an apothecary. He was chosen superintendant and demonstrator of the gardens at Chelsea, an office which he held some years before his death, which took place in 1706. In 1695 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and was the contemporary and friend of Ray, PluJkenet, and Sloane, who all bear testimony to his merit. As he lived in London, and there is reason to believe was in very considerable business, his excursions could not ordinarily extend far from that city; but in its neighbourhood, his diligence was beyond any other example. He struck out a new path in botany, by leading to the study of that tribe which comprehends the imperfect plants, now called the Cryptogamia class. In this branch he made the most numerous discoveries of any man in that age, and in the knowledge of it stood clearly unrivalled. The early editions of Ray’s Synopsis were much amplified by his labours; and he is represented by Mr. Ray, as a man of uncommon sagacity in discovering and discriminating plants in general. The learned successor of Tournefort, M. Jussieu, speaks of him as “inter Pharmacopceos Londinenses sui temporis Coryphaeus.” In truth he was the Dillenius of his time. There is a long list of rare plants, many of them new, and first discovered by Mr. Doody, published in the second edition of Ray’s Synopsis, accompanied with observations on other species. There is also “The case of a dropsy of the breast,” written by him, and printed in the Philosophical Transactions, in 1697, vol. XX. Some of his Mss. on medical and botanical subjects are in the British Museum. 1

1 Pulteney’s Sketches. Ayscough’s Cat. of Mss.