Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Arbuthnot, John, M.D., a physician and literary man, who lived in the centre of the highest intellectual society of the reigns of Anne, George I. and George II., the son of a Scottish Episcopalian clergyman; he was born probably in 1675. After taking the degree of M.D. at Aberdeen he came to London, and for some time supported himself by teaching mathematics. He wrote some papers on the subject which attracted some notice, and being accidentally called in to attend Prince George of Denmark in 1702, he was some years later appointed physician to Queen Anne. About this time he must have come into contact with Swift, both of them working as pamphleteers and satirists for Oxford and Bolingbroke. His friendship with Pope, Gay, Parnell, Atterbury, and Congreve, soon followed. The death of Anne deprived him for a while of home and income, and just at this interval probably he and his friends started the Scriblerus Club, out of which grew other literary projects. In the meantime his medical practice grew, and he was appointed censor of the Royal College of Physicians. His health became somewhat infirm and in 1735 he died of asthma. The Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus were perhaps wholly his. His letters show his wit, kindliness, and unaffected piety.