John Hutton d.1712

From Book Owners Online

John HUTTON d.1712

Biographical Note

John Hutton grew up in Caerlaverock, Dumfriesshire, and worked as a herd-boy for the local minister, who helped him receive a good education. Hutton studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh from 1672-1674, and received an M.D. from Padua in 1677.

Hutton served as personal physician to Princess Mary of Orange and later as court physician to King William III and physician-general of the army. In 1690, he was elected a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and later fellow of the Royal Society. He received an M.D. from Oxford University and briefly continued his post as court physician under Queen Anne's reign. In 1710, he was elected MP for the Dumfries burghs.

Hutton never married and died in 1712.


Hutton bequeathed his library to Dumfries Presbytery which came into possession of it in 1714. The presbytery used the collection as a lending library for ministers. A Register of Issue with entries for loans made between 1732 and 1826 can be found in the Ewart Library, the Dumfries and Galloway Regional Library. A printed catalogue from 1784 lists 2052 titles (in 2372 volumes) in the library.

The building housing the Dumfries Presbytery Library fell into disrepair towards the end of the 19th century and the decision was made in 1884 to give the books on loan to the General Assembly Library of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The whole General Assembly Library, including Hutton's collection, was transferred to New College Library, University of Edinburgh, in 1958. 1755 titles with Hutton recorded as the former owner can be found in the University of Edinburgh's online catalogue. The subjects of these books cover science, medicine, philosophy, history, travel, literature, biblical studies, and theology.

Notable selections:

Cromwell's Proclamations (London, 1654)

Book of Common Prayer (London 1549)

Examples: New College Library DPL.714; DPL.70

Characteristic Markings

Many of his books are inscribed: Ex libris bibliothecae Presbytern Drumfriesiensis ex dono Joannis Hutton M. D. 1714 and have the Greek words 'τα 'ανω' [ta ano] written on title page.


  • A catalogue of the books in the library belonging to the Presbytery of Dumfries. Church of Scotland. Presbytery of Dumfries. Library. Dumfries, 1784. ESTC T204440. [NLS APS.2.82.31].
  • Goodwin, Gordon, and Harold J. Cook. "Hutton, John (d. 1712), physician." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Howard, J.V. John Hutton, M.D. and the Dumfries Presbytery Library, 1714-1826. Scottish Church History 32:1, 41-69. 2002.
  • Shirley, G.W. Dumfriesshire Libraries. 1933.