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John Arbuthnot

Arbuthnot, John (ärbŭthˈnət, ärˈbəthnŏt) [key], 1667–1735, Scottish author and scientist, court physician (1705–14) to Queen Anne. He is best remembered for his five "John Bull" pamphlets (1712), political satires on the Whig war policy, which introduced the character John Bull, the typical Englishman. With his friends, Swift, Pope, and Gay, Arbuthnot was a member of the Scriblerus Club, organized to ridicule false tastes in learning, and was the principal author of the "Memoirs of … Martinus Scriblerus," first published in the quarto edition of Pope's works (1741). He was also the author of several progressive medical works. Greatly admired in his time, Arbuthnot was called an unusual genius by Samuel Johnson, and Pope addressed to him the famous "Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot."

See edition of his works by G. A. Aitken (1892); study by L. M. Beattie (1935).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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