Lives of the fellows

John (Sir) Elliot

b.? d.7 November 1786
MD St Andrews(1759) LRCP(1762)

Sir John Elliot, Bart., M.D., was of obscure parentage, and was born at Peebles, in Scotland. After a tolerable education, he became the assistant to an apothecary in London, and then went to sea as surgeon of a privateer. Being fortunate in obtaining prize-money, he determined on practising in London as a physician. He obtained a degree of doctor of medicine from the university of St. Andrew’s 6th November, 1759; and was admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians 30th September, 1762. Assisted by the patronage of Sir William Duncan, M.D., he soon got into good business, and is said to have acquired a professional income of 5,000l. a year. He was knighted in 1776, an honour which is supposed to have been due to the influence of lord Sackville and Madam Schwellenberg. He was intimate with persons of rank as well as with many of the first literary characters of the metropolis, and was countenanced by the heir-apparent to the crown, who appointed him one of his physicians in ordinary. He was subsequently created a baronet.(1) He died 7th November, 1786, and was the author of—
Philosophical Observations on the Senses of Vision and Hearing. 8vo. Lond. 1780.
Essays on Physiological Subjects. 8vo. Lond. 1780.
Address to the Public on a subject of the utmost importance to Health. 8vo. Lond. 1780.
A complete Collection of the Medical and Philosophical Works of John Fothergill, M.D., with an Account of his Life and Occasional Notes. 8vo. Lond. 1781.
The Medical Pocket Book. 18mo. Lond. 1781.
An Account of the Principal Mineral Waters of Great Britain and Ireland. 8vo. Lond. 1781.
Elements of the Branches of Natural Philosophy connected with Medicine. 8vo. Lond. 1782.

William Munk

[(1) It is of Sir John Elliot that the following anecdote is recorded: "When lord G. Germain requested George III. to confer the title of baronet on Elliot who had never been a favourite of the king, his Majesty manifested much unwillingness, saying at length, ‘But if I do he shall not be my physician.’ ‘No, sire,’ replied his lordship, ‘he shall be your Majesty’s baronet and my physician.’ This excited the royal smile, and the title was conferred."]

(Volume II, page 239)

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