Dr John Arbuthnot (1667-1735) influenced the social, literary, political, medical and scientific communities of eighteenth-century Britain. He is often presented as a man of almost supernatural goodness, but it is worth remembering that he was born into, and lived his early years, in the ferocious religious and political struggles of late-seventeenth-century Scotland, that culminated in 1707 in the Union of the Scottish and English parliaments. After the death of his father, Arbuthnot moved to England, where as early as 1703 he was following a career as one of the royal physicians at the court of Queen Anne. In 1709 he was one of the Physicians-in-Orinary, and thus one of the Royal Household. Outside of this role he became known in London as a wit, a mathematician and a writer. It is the few, but brilliant, political writings of his English career - including the collection of five pamphlets featuring the character, John Bull - that form the crux of this biography.