John Arbuthnot

(2208 words)

John Arbuthnot was born south of Aberdeen, Scotland, probably a few days before he was baptized by his father Alexander Arbuthnott on 29 April 1667. Part of a large family, with four brothers and sisters as well as a half-brother from his father’s second marriage, his childhood and early education remain obscure. He probably read widely in his father’s library.

In 1681, at fourteen, Arbuthnot matriculated at Marischal College in the University of Aberdeen. There the traditional curriculum focusing on ancient languages was expanded to include a year of natural philosophy, the new science as promoted by Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton. Arbuthnot took his degree in 1685, the same year that Charles II died. After the …

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Vilmar, Christopher. "John Arbuthnot". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 November 2010
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]

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