About John Baptista
John Baptista, an Italian physician and apothecary living in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was probably a converted Jew.
He might have been father or brother of Rebecca (Baptista) Vance, wife of Joseph Vance, of Londonderry.
In records of the Town Council of Edinburgh he was named as John Baptista, Jon Baptista, Joanna Baptista, and John Baptista Quarantine. He was called an Italian physician.
"At this time the quacks were associated with public performances as well as selling potions or offering treatments and cures. One such individual who occupied the oppositional energies of the Incorporation was John Baptista Quarantine. He was given permission by the Town Council to set up a stage 'for the exercise of his airt and Calling in Public' in 1665. Ten years later he reappeared, and on this occasion the Incorporation took legal opinion and tried to persuade the Town Council to revoke Baptista's license, but in the event he was able to stay until 1667 before finally removing himself from Edinburgh." A Famous and Flourishing Society: The History of the Royal College ... - Page 35
"Another such mountebank was John Baptista, whom the surgeons of Edinburgh unsuccesfully tried to prevent practicing in Edinburgh in 1676." David Hamilton, The Healers: A History of Medicine in Scotland (Pelican Publishing, 1982), 73. Further, "Two years later there arrived in Edinburgh another quack or mountebank, John Baptista Quarantine. The Town Council, in its Minute dated 17th November 1665, 'grants Libertie to Jon Baptista Quarantine Physitian to Sett up a stage upon the ..." F. and A. Constable, The Book of the Old Edinburgh Club, 1938), Vol. 22, 135. "... prts sall be his warrand, and this is followed by a further Minute dated 10th January 1666: 'Upon the Petition of Johne Baptiste Quarants for a prorogation of the tyme allowed to him for keiping up his Stage, The Council Allowis him to keip his stage till the first of Febri and to sell drogs and use cures till that tyme.'" (ibid., 136, Google snippet). "'to the mountebank to sie and anser the next Counsell day.' Meantime, notwithstanding the efforts of the surgeons and apothecaries, John Baptista had erected his stage on his former stance, 'where he vended his drugs powders and medicaments for the which he received a great amount of money.' On 31st January 1677 the Committee requested the Provost to induce the Council to order the removal of ..." (ibid. 137, Google snippet).
Probably, the primary reference to this is "In the same year  protested against an extension of time allowed to John Baptista Quarantine, an Italian physician, for the 'selling and vending of his medicines and useing his operation in chirurgery ... on the south syd of the hie streit betwixt the head of Nideries weynd and the Netherbow' as contrary to the privileges of the surgeons ...'" Margaret D. Young, Parliaments of Scotland: burgh and shire commissioners, Vol. 1, (1992), 330 (Google Books snippet view)
Justin Swanström, 2012.