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Darling, George (DNB00)


DARLING, GEORGE (1782?–1862), physician, born at Stow, near Galashiels, was educated at the university of Edinburgh, and, having made two or three voyages as surgeon in the East India Company's service, settled in London in general practice. At the end of four years he began to practise as a physician, having become a licentiate of the London College. He had a considerable intimacy with artists, Wilkie, Haydon, Lawrence, and Chantrey being both his patients and his friends. In 1814 he published anonymously ‘An Essay on Medical Economy,’ which he dedicated to his friend and fellow-countryman Sir James Mackintosh. The title of this ably written book was not well chosen, for it enters into the whole question of medical reform, as regards the education, practice, and status of medical men, and anticipates many of the changes which have since taken place in the profession, such as the establishment of a university in London and the conjoint scheme of medical examination. Darling was of a singularly retiring disposition, and published this essay anonymously. At a later period he interested himself about the making of bread by the disengagement of carbonic acid by chemical means, and printed a pamphlet on the subject, ‘Instructions for Making Unfermented Bread.’ This, like the book just mentioned, was anonymously published. It first appeared in 1846, and the seventeenth edition is dated 1851. He died on 30 March 1862, in his eightieth year.

[Address of the President of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of London, 1863; but chiefly from private information.]

J. D.