Born in the manse of Arbuthnot, Kincardineshire, John Arbuthnot obtained an MA from Aberdeen in 1681. He obtained the first recorded MD from St Andrews University in 1696. Arbuthnot established himself in London, but before practising medicine he became known in literary circles by publishing several essays which showed profound scholarship and literary excellence. Among his friends were Pope and Swift.
Early in his career as a physician he attended Prince George of Denmark in a sudden illness and the successful outcome of his care and skill opened the door to court circles. In 1705 he was appointed Physician Extraordinary to Queen Anne. Arbuthnot was given the degree of Doctor of Medicine from Cambridge, elected a Fellow of the College in 1707 and three years later the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of London. His election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of London in 1704 was largely due to his fame as a scholar and writer.
This painting is a copy of the portrait presented by Pope to Arbuthnot's son.
Where to see this painting?
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
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