Cattle plague in S AfricaCharles John Dring M.R.C.V.S. (1837 – 25 March 1908) was a British orthodox Veterinary Surgeon, a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and, in 1856, President of the West of England Veterinary Society, who converted to homeopathy.

In 1859, Charles Dring was practicing as a veterinary surgeon in his home village of Filkins, Oxfordshire. By 1868 he had moved to Bath, where he was listed at 14 Fountains Buildings, and at 31 Triangle, Queen’s Road, Bristol. Later, in 1880, Dring was residing at Melcombe Regis, Weymouth, Dorset, where he combined his veterinary duties with that of hotel keeper at the Cutter Hotel. His final residence was as proprietor of the Victoria Hotel in Weymouth.

Charles John Dring was born in the village of Filkins, Oxfordshire in 1837, the son of veterinary surgeon and farrier Henry Dring (1812 – 1887) and his wife Ann Cox (1813 – 1857).

Dring’s early life is obscure but he clearly resolved to follow in his father’s professional footsteps. In April 1859, Charles Dring, then residing in Filkins, was awarded the diploma and elected a member of the Royal Veterinary College.

In the July 1861 edition of The Veterinarian, he contributed an article on “Cancerous Tumour in a Dog.”

It is not clear when or why C. J. Dring converted to homeopathy, but by the mid 1860s he had relocated to Bath, Somerset. There he was on familiar terms with homeopathic physician Dr. William Bayes, Editor of The London and Provincial Homeopathic Medical Directory.

In 1866, Charles Dring married Bath native Annie Dixon Carpenter (1842 – 1895). They had seven children, Henry George (b. 1867), Annie Lee (1868 – 1950), Eleanor Marian (1870 – 1882), Charles Albert (b. 1873), Edith Clara, Albert William (b. 1876),  Alice Clare (1878 – 1959), and George James Dring (1879 – 1953).

The same year, 1866, Dring was mentioned in Alfred Pope’s article, “The Cattle Plague: its Pathology and Treatment,” that first appeared in the February 1866, Monthly Homeopathic Review, but was subsequently published as a book by the author.

It is unclear to what extent Dring moved away from veterinary work in the 1870s, although he was still listed as residing in Bath in the Homoeopathic Medical Directory of Great Britain and Ireland for 1871 and 1874. However, his inclusion in the 1871 Directory was accompanied by a notification that he had not submitted his current professional information, and in the 1874 Directory his address is left blank, so it is possible that Dring had largely left the profession, or abandoned homeopathic practice.

By 1875, Charles Dring had relocated to Weymouth, Dorset. On 12 November, 1875, he was initiated into the Freemasonic All Souls Lodge (170). His profession in the Lodge register was listed as wine merchant. In 1883, Dring was elected an officer of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Dorset, with the position of Grand Junior Deacon.

Charles Dring spent the remainder of his life as a hotel proprietor but continued practicing in the veterinary field as a sideline. In the 1891 census, his profession was recorded as “hotel keeper” and “veterinary surgeon,” and he was listed in the 1894 Register of Veterinary Surgeons published by the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Charles John Dring died at his home, the Victoria Hotel, Augusta Place, Esplanade, Weymouth, on 25 March 1908, aged 71, and was buried with his wife in Locksbrook Cemetery, Bath.