Schuh’s Annotated Bio-Bibliography

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RUTTY, John.

(1698 – 1775)

(Born: 1698; Died: 1775) Irish physician.

Rutty, a physician, studied under Boerhaave in Leiden. He wrote works on materia medica, mineral waters, and an analysis of milk. One of his books was published by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia.

Biographical references: Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 958, 102-117. Biographie Universelle. DNB. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). Sharpless, William T.S., "Dr. John Rutty (1698-1775) of Dublish and his `spiritual diary and soliloquies'," Ann. Med. Hist., 10 (1928), 249-57. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI. Webb, Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878.

1. English, 1772 [First edition].
An Essay Towards a Natural History of the County of Dublin, Accommodated to the Noble Designs of the Dublin Society Printed By W. Sleator in Castle Street, Dublin Affording a summary view I. Of its Vegetables with their mechanical and oeconomical uses, and as Food for Men and Cattle; a Catalogue of our Vegetable Poisons; and a Botanical Kalendar, exhibiting the respective Months in which most of the Simples in Use are in Flower. II. Of its Animals. III. Of its Soil, and the State of its Agriculture; its Fossils, Mines, Minerals, and some lately discovered mineral Waters; particularly the sulphureous Water at Lucan, and its medicinal Virtues, from practical Observations. IV. Of the Nature of the Climate, from Diaries of the Weather, kept in Dublin for fifty years past; interspersed with meteorological and oeconomical Observations. By John Rutty ... Dublin, Printed by W. Sleater for the Author, 1772.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 8°: xiv, [4 subscribers], [1]-80, 73-390, [2] p. [Vol 2] 8°: [2], vi, [1]-287, 281-488 p., 4 folding plates, 7 folding tables.

Rare. Rutty settled in Dublin in 1724 , where, while extremely active in Dublin intellectual life, he practiced medicine for most of his life. He initiated two long-term projects: a detailed study of materia medica and a systematic record of the weather of Dublin. His pioneering Essay towards a Natural History, the first real county natural history in Ireland, has a particular emphasis on the practical uses, medicinal or culinary, of the flora and fauna. Notably it includes the earliest notice of the brown rat (Rattus Norvegicus) coming to Ireland. The third section describes the soils, agriculture, fossils, mines, minerals, and mineral waters of the region. The five engraved plates of birds were the first serious attempt to provide natural history illustrations in an Irish book. Being a fervent Quaker, he repetitively catalogs his faults, from which he is principally remembered as a subject for the wit of Samuel Johnson.

Bibliographical references: BL. BMC: 4, 1774. LKG: XIV 428. NUC.