Garencières, Theophilus (DNB00)


GARENCIÈRES, THEOPHILUS, M.D. (1610–1680), physician, was born in Paris in 1610. After mastering the primer he was made to read ‘The Prophecies of Nostradamus,’ and retained throughout life a love for them. He graduated M.D. at Caen in Normandy in 1636, came to England with the French ambassador, was incorporated M.D. at Oxford 10 March 1657 (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ii. 791), and admitted a candidate at the College of Physicians of London 23 March in the same year. While in England he left the Roman church. In 1647 he published ‘Angliæ Flagellum seu Tabes Anglica,’ a work which is now very rare, and which owes its reputation to the error deduced from its title-page, that it is a treatise on rickets, three years earlier than that of Glisson. The ‘Tabes Anglica’ of Garencières is pulmonary phthisis; the 187 pages of his duodecimo volume contain little of value, and not one word about rickets. In 1665 he published ‘A Mite cast into the Treasury of the Famous City of London, being a Brief and Methodical Discourse of the Nature, Causes, Symptoms, Remedies, and Preservation from the Plague in this calamitous year 1665, digested into Aphorisms.’ The book is dedicated to the lord mayor, contains thirty-five aphorisms, and recommends Venice treacle taken early as the best internal remedy for the plague, while poultices are to be applied externally to the glandular swellings. The preface is dated 14 Sept. 1665, from the author's house near the church in Clerkenwell Close. A second edition, enlarged to sixty aphorisms, appeared in the same year, and a third, containing sixty-one aphorisms, in 1666. In 1672 he published ‘The True Prophecies or Prognostications of Michael Nostradamus, translated,’ and in 1676 ‘The Admirable Virtues and Wonderful Effects of the True and Genuine Tincture of Coral in Physick.’ Ten authors are quoted as praising coral, and it is stated to cure more than thirty separate diseases, but no cases or personal experience are given. Garencières lived for more than ten years (prefaces) in Clerkenwell, and was on friendly terms with Francis Bernard [q. v.], the learned apothecary, and afterwards physician to St. Bartholomew's Hospital. He died poor about 1680. His portrait as a medallion is engraved in his edition of ‘Nostradamus.’

[Wood's Fasti Oxon. ii. 791; Munk's Coll. of Phys. i. 276; Works.]

N. M.