John Arbuthnot (agriculturist)

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John Arbuthnot FRS (c.1729 - 27 December 1797). Inspector General of the Irish Linen Board.


John Arbuthnot Esq., of Mitcham, was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1770. His appointment stated that he was thus; "versed in natural knowledge, & having made several considerable improvements in Husbandry, being desirous of becoming a fellow of the Royal Society, is recom[m]ended by us on our personal knowledge of him, as being likely to become a usefull & valuable member"

On agriculture, Arbuthnot authored a work entitled An inquiry into the connection between the present price of provisions, and the size of farms. : With remarks on population as affected thereby. To which are added, proposals for preventing future scarcity. / By a farmer. (London: : Printed for T. Cadell ..., 1773)

Personal life[edit]

Son of George Arbuthnot of Kinghornie (Baptized 15 February 1688, d. China 18 July 1732. George Arbuthnot was originally a Captain in Queen Anne's Guard, he entered EICS and later became a wine-merchant in France. John Arbuthnot's mother was Margaret Robinson (d. 1729), dau of Thomas Robinson, portrait painter and half-sister of Anastasia Robinson.

Arbuthnot married firstly, in 1753, Sally Margaret Cecil (buried 19 February 1759), daughter of John Cecil of Ravensbury (buried 21 April 1760). He married for a second time, in 1760, Ursula Fitzgerald (buried 12 March 1761). His third wife, whom he married on 19 October 1762, was Anne Stone (b. 26 September 1739; d. Calais, 15 November 1782), only daughter of Richard Stone, a London banker with Grasshopper banking house, and niece of Archbishop George Stone (1708-1764) of Armagh, the Primate of Ireland, son of Andrew Stone. Anne Stone's brother was Andrew Stone (1703-1773), under secretary of state 1748.

They had children Charles Arbuthnot, Bishop Alexander Arbuthnot, General Sir Thomas Arbuthnot and General Sir Robert Arbuthnot.


  • Memories of the Arbuthnots, Mrs P S-M Arbuthnot, 1920

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