Arbuthnot, John

born April 1667, Inverbervie, Scot.
died Feb. 27, 1735, London, Eng.

Scottish mathematician, physician, and satirist.

His satirical writings include a political allegory, The History of John Bull (1712), that established John Bull as a personification of England. He was a founding member of the famous Scriblerus Club, which aimed to ridicule bad literature and false learning. He was also chief contributor to and guiding spirit of the Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus (written 1713–14), a mocking exposure of pedantry that was written by club members.

Arbuthnot, detail of an oil painting by W. Robinson; in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, ...

By courtesy of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

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▪ British mathematician and author

born April 1667, Inverbervie, Kincardine, Scot.
died Feb. 27, 1735, London, Eng.
 Scottish mathematician, physician, and occasional writer, remembered as the close friend of Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and John Gay and as a founding member of their famous Scriblerus Club, which aimed to ridicule bad literature and false learning.

      After taking a medical degree in 1696 at the University of St. Andrews, Arbuthnot became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1704 and was one of Queen Anne's physicians from 1705 until her death. Though he published mathematical and other scientific works, his fame rests on his reputation as a wit and on his satirical writings. The most important of the latter fall into two groups. The first consists of a political allegory dealing with the political jockeying of the British, French, Spanish, and Dutch that led up to the Treaty of Utrecht (1713). Published in five pamphlets, the earliest appearing in 1712, it was collected in 1727 under the composite title Law is a Bottom-less Pit; or, The History of John Bull, and it established and popularized for the first time the character who was to become the permanent symbol of England in cartoon and literature. An edition by A.W. Bower and R.A. Erickson was published in 1976.

      The other satire in which Arbuthnot had an important share was the Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus, a mocking exposure of pedantry, first published in the 1741 edition of Pope's works but largely written as early as 1713–14 by the members of the Scriblerus Club. The other members of the club acknowledged Arbuthnot as the chief contributor and guiding spirit of the work. Arbuthnot was indifferent to literary fame, and many of his witticisms and ideas for satires were later developed by and credited to his more famous literary friends.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Arbuthnot,John — Ar·buth·not (är bŭthʹnət, ärʹbəth nŏt ), John. 1667 1735. Scottish physician and writer noted for his satirical anti Whig pamphlets published as Law Is a Bottomless Pit (1712) and later retitled The History of John Bull. * * * …   Universalium

  • ARBUTHNOT, JOHN —    a physician and eminent literary man of the age of Queen Anne and her two successors, born in Kincardineshire, the friend of Swift and Pope and other lights of the time, much esteemed by them for his wit and kind heartedness, joint author with …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Arbuthnot, John — (1667 1735)    Physician and satirist, was b. in Kincardineshire, and after studying at Aberdeen and Oxford, took his degree of M.D. at St. Andrews. Settling in London, he taught mathematics. Being by a fortunate accident at Epsom, he was called… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Arbuthnot, John — ► (1667 1735) Médico de cámara de la reina Ana de Inglaterra. Fundó el Scribblerus Club …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Arbuthnot — Arbuthnot, John …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • John Arbuthnot — (* April 1667 in Inverbervie, Schottland; † 27. Februar 1735 in London) war ein schottischer Arzt, Mathematiker und Schriftsteller …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Arbuthnot (surname) — Arbuthnot or Arbuthnott is a Scottish surname, deriving from the village in Scotland from where members of the Arbuthnot family originated.People with the surname Arbuthnot or Arbuthnott;Multiple people *Alexander Arbuthnot *Arbuthnot Baronets… …   Wikipedia

  • John Arbuthnot — (29 de abril de 1667, Inverbervie 27 de febrero de 1735, Londres) fue un médico, escritor satírico y polímata, escocés. Sus mordaces escritos contienen cierta alegoría polític …   Wikipedia Español

  • John Bull — John Bullish. John Bullishness. John Bullism. 1. England; the English people. 2. the typical Englishman. [1705 15; named after John Bull, chief character in Arbuthnot s allegory The History of John Bull (1712)] * * * ▪ English symbol       in… …   Universalium

  • John Arbuthnot — For other people named John Arbuthnot, see John Arbuthnot (disambiguation). John Arbuthnot Portrait of John Arbuthnot by Godfrey Kneller Born 1667 (baptised on 29, April) Kincardineshire …   Wikipedia

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