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Garth

Garth, Sir Samuel (1661-1719), an English physician and poet, was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and was educated at Ingleton and at Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1679, and, after studying at Leyden, M.D. in 1691. He came to London and was F.C.P. in 1693. In 1697 he gave the Harveian oration, in the course of which he broached the idea of establishing dispensaries where the poor should get good advice and aid free. This idea was strongly opposed by the apothecaries, as surgeons were then called, and they tried every means to thwart its realisation. In 1699 Garth published The Dispensary, a poem which seems to have been modelled upon Le Lutrin of Boileau and Dryden's MacFlecknoe. In 1700 Garth delivered a Latin oration upon Dryden. He also wrote verses for the Kit-cat Club, as well as other poems, and some dramatic prologues. On the accession of George I. he was knighted and appointed physician-in-ordinary to the king.