Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dod, Peirce

1217971Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 15 — Dod, Peirce1888Gordon Goodwin ‎

DOD, PEIRCE (1683–1754), medical writer, the fourth of the five sons of John Dod, citizen and mercer of London, by his wife Mary, daughter of Richard Thorowgood, alderman of London, was born in 1683, probably at Hackney (Bodl. MS. Rawl. 4, f. 276; Lysons, Environs, ii. 471). John Dod was allied to one of the numerous Cheshire families of that name, for by his will, bearing date 26 Nov. 1687, and proved 12 June 1688, he bequeathed ‘to the parish of Malpas in Cheshire fifty pounds, either to the poore or repaires of Chad Chappell,’ and his brother, Thomas Dod, was seated at Tushingham, a township in the same parish (Will reg. in P. C. C. 127, Exton). His son matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, 19 March 1697, and proceeded B.A. on 14 Oct. 1701; but being soon afterwards elected a fellow of All Souls, he graduated M.A. as a member of that society on 6 June 1705, M.B. on 22 March 1710, and M.D. on 29 Oct. 1714. Admitted a candidate of the College of Physicians on 30 Sept. 1719, and a fellow on 30 Sept. 1720, he was Gulstonian lecturer in 1720, Harveian orator in 1729 (his oration was published at London in the following year), and censor in 1724, 1732, 1736, and 1739. He was appointed physician to St. Bartholomew's Hospital on 22 July 1725, and continued in that office until his death, which occurred at his house in Red Lion Square on 6 Aug. 1754 (Affidavit appended to Will reg. in P. C. C., 225, Pinfold; Gent. Mag. xxiv. 387). Dr. Munk (Coll. of Phys. 1878, ii. 70) wrongly gives the date as 18 Aug. He was buried in the ground of St. George the Martyr, Queen Square. In the church is an altar-tomb to his memory. By his wife Elizabeth he had four children, Peirce, Jacky, Elizabeth, and another daughter, who died in his lifetime. The eldest son, Peirce (B.A. University College, Oxford, 17 Dec. 1756, incorporated at Cambridge and M.A. Corpus Christi College, 1762), was vicar of Godmersham, Kent, from 1772 to 1778, and died at Clifton on 7 Oct. 1797 (Gent. Mag. lxvii. pt. ii. 900). Elizabeth, the daughter, married, 15 Nov. 1760, John Alexander Stainsby of Lincoln's Inn, barrister-at-law and a commissioner in bankruptcy, and died at the end of 1802, aged 71 (ib. xxx. 542, lxxii. pt. ii. 1168).

Dod was a steady opponent of inoculation, and sought to throw discredit on the new practice in a little work entitled ‘Several Cases in Physick, and one in particular, giving an account of a Person who was Inoculated for the Small-Pox … and yet had it again. With … other remarkable Small-Pox Cases, &c. To which is added a Letter giving an Account of a Letter of Dr. Freind's concerning that Fever which infested the Army under … the Earl of Peterborough … anno 1705, in Spain; together with the said Letter,’ 8vo, London, 1746. He was quickly answered and unsparingly censured in a satirical pamphlet with the title ‘A Letter to the real and genuine Pierce Dod, M.D., … exposing the low Absurdity … of a late spurious Pamphlet falsely ascrib'd to that learned Physician. With a full Answer to the mistaken Case of a Natural Small-Pox, after taking it by Inoculation. By Dod Pierce, M.S.,’ 8vo, London, 1746. According to Dr. Munk the authors of this letter, which is said to have done considerable damage to Dod's professional reputation and practice, were Dr. Kirkpatrick, author of ‘The Analysis of Inoculation,’ Dr. Barrowby, and one of the Schombergs. Dod, who had been admitted a fellow of the Royal Society on 19 March 1729–30, contributed two papers to the ‘Philosophical Transactions.’

[Munk's Coll. of Phys. (1878), ii. 70–1.]

G. G.