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Arbuthnot, John

Born: 1667 AD
Died: 1735 AD
Nationality: Scottish
Categories: Mathematicians, Physicians, Satirists

1667 – Arbuthnot was born in Kincardine, Scotland in April and was baptised on April 29, 1667.

1685 – Graduated with an arts degree in Marischal College.

1691 – Arbuthnot went to London where he supported himself by teaching mathematics.

1692 – Arbuthnot translated Huygens’ tract on probability and extended it by adding to it a few further games of chance.

1696 – Arbuthnot took a medical degree and graduated at the University of St Andrews.

1697 – Wrote his first satire "An examination of Dr. Woodward’s account & c."

1701 – Arbuthnot was able to produce another mathematical work, "An Essay on the usefulness of mathematical learning, in a letterfrom a gentleman in the city to his friend in Oxford".

1702 – Attended the Epsom when Prince George of Denmark fell ill, treated the prince successfully. He married a certain Margaret.

1704 – Arbuthnot was elected to be a Fellow of the Royal Society.

1705 – Arbuthnot was appointed physician extraordinary to Queen Anne.

1710 – Returned to his mathematical work with a paper in the Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions, which discusses the slight excess of male births over female births.

1712 – Together with Swift, they attempted to aid the Tory government of Harley and Henry St. John in their efforts to end the war. Arbuthnot wrote five pamphlets featuring his fictional character John Bull.

1713 – Arbuthnot continued his assault with the use of political satire with "Proposals for printing very curious discourse — a treatise of the art of political lying, with an abstract of the first volume". He was made a physician of Chelsea Hospital.

1717 – Arbuthnot contributed to the play "Three Hours after Marriage". He was one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Music.

1723 –  Arbuthnot was appointed as one of the censors of the Royal College of Physicians, and as such he was one of the campaigners to inspect and improve the drugs sold by apothecaries in London. The apothecaries sued the RCP, and Arbuthnot wrote "Reasons humbly offered by the upholders against part of the bill for the better viewing, searching, and examining of drugs". The pamphlet suggested that the funeral directors of London would wish to sue the RCP as well to ensure that drug safety remained poor.

1727 – Elected in the Royal College of Physicians.

1734 – Arbuthnot’s health was declining, he was diagnosed with kidney stones, asthma and was overweight.

1735 – On February 27, 1735, Arbuthnot died in London. He was Buried at Saint James Church, Piccadilly.