Sir Samuel Garth FRS

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Samuel Garth

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Brother of Lt.-Col. Thomas Garth of Harrold

Managed by: Alisdair James Smyth
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About Sir Samuel Garth FRS

Sir Samuel Garth FRS (1661 – 18 January 1719) was an English physician and poet.



[edit] Life

Garth was born in Bolam in County Durham and matriculated at Peterhouse, Cambridge in 1676, graduating B.A. in 1679 and M.A. in 1684.[1] He took his M.D. and became a member of the College of Physicians in 1691. He settled as a physician in London and soon acquired a large practice. He was a zealous Whig, the friend of Addison and, though of different political views, of Pope. He ended his career as physician to George I, who knighted him in 1714.

For a while, he owned the manor of Edgcott in Buckinghamshire. He died on 18 January 1719.


In 1697 he delivered the Harveian Oration, in which he advocated a scheme dating from some ten years back for providing dispensaries for the relief of the sick poor, as a protection against the greed of the apothecaries. In 1699 he published a mock-heroic poem, The Dispensary, in six cantos, which had an instant success, passing through three editions within a year. In this he ridiculed the apothecaries and their allies among the physicians.

He is also remembered as the author of Claremont, a descriptive poem. He translated the Life of Otho in the fifth volume of Dryden's Plutarch, and also edited a translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, to which Addison, Pope, and others contributed. His intervention ensured an honourable burial for John Dryden and he pronounced a eulogy at the funeral in Westminster Abbey.

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Sir Samuel Garth FRS's Timeline

January 18, 1719
Age 58