Dering, Henrietta (c.1674–1729), portrait painter, was born in France, the only daughter among two children of Francis and Suzanne de Branlieu , a huguenot family who came to England in 1687. The will of her daughter, Mary Dering, dated 23 April 1746 and proved 13 June 1747, records her mother's marriage to Robert, son of Sir Edward Dering of Surrenden Dering, Kent, on 23 March 1694. The Dering family were involved in Irish affairs and were intermarried with the landed families of Southwell and Perceval.
No direct evidence survives with regard to her artistic training. It has been debated whether she received some instruction from Simon Digby (qv); however, it has been noted that she was unlikely to have met him before 1705 and that her style changed little after she began practising as a professional artist in Dublin in 1703 (Watercolours of Ireland, 26). The miniature painter Thomas Forster, who is thought to have visited Ireland, is considered a more likely influence. A number of portraits of members of the Dering and Perceval families dated 1704–5 (private collection) show the influence of the fashionable portraits of Sir Peter Lely (1618–80) in the handling of the poses. The sitters include the 1st earl of Egmont (qv), president of the trustees of the colony of Georgia, who sent Gen. Oglethorpe to establish a settlement in Savannah. Her skill as a pastellist is evident in her rendering of light and varied textures.
Robert Dering's date of death, though unknown, may be placed before April 1705, when Henrietta married the anglican clergyman Gideon Johnston (1668–1716). In 1706 they went to London to apply for missionary service in Charleston, South Carolina, where they arrived in 1708. She continued to produce portraits there. In 1711 she visited England, returning to Charleston in 1713. Three years later her husband died in a boating accident. She continued to paint and moved in 1725 to New York, where she died 7 March 1729. The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, houses an important collection of her work.