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 revolution of 1688, he and his brothers traveled south to seek their

2166 words

Citation: Vilmar, Christopher. "John Arbuthnot". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 November 2010 [, accessed 22 February 2024.]

138 John Arbuthnot 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.