John Rutty

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Rutty, John, M.D., a distinguished Dublin physician, a member of the Society of Friends, was born in Wiltshire, 25th December 1697. He settled in Dublin in 1724, where he practised during the remainder of his life. He was the author of numerous works relating to Ireland; besides others not here enumerated: (1) Rise and Progress of the People called Quakers in Ireland, from 1653 to 1700. .. Compiled by Thomas Wright, Revised, Enlarged, and Continued to 1751, Dublin, 1751. This is a valuable and comprehensive book, and embodies much information that but for Rutty's care might have been lost to posterity. (2) The Mineral Waters of Ireland, Dublin, 1757. He was severely taken to task by Dr. Lucas for some of the statements in this work. (3) The Weather and Seasons in Dublin for Forty Years, London, 1770. (4) Natural History of the County of Dublin, 2 vols., Dublin, 1772. (5) The labour of his life was a book, now very scarce, written in Latin, and printed and published at Rotterdam in 1775 — Materia Medica, Antigua et Nova, Opus XL. Annorum — a quarto of 560 pages. (6) Perhaps Dr. Rutty is better known by his Spiritual Diary and Soliloquies than by any other of his works. It recounts his spiritual conflicts, backslidings.and progresses, from September 1753, to December 1774, not many weeks before his death. In accordance with the provisions of his will, it was printed without alteration from his manuscript. Johnson "laughed heartily at this good Quaker's self-condemning minuteness." Boswell says the volumes "exhibited in the simplicity of his heart, a minute and honest register of the state of his mind; which, though frequently laughable enough, was not more so than the history of many men would be, if recorded with equal fairness." Dr. Rutty died in Dublin, 26th April 1775, aged 77, and was interred in the Friends' burying-ground, Dublin, where the College of Surgeons now stands. He resided for many years before his death on the drawing-room floor of the house at the eastern corner of Boot-lane and Mary's-lane, for which he paid £10 per annum.

Sources

115. Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science (3). Dublin, 1846-'77.

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