John Bell, a Scottish physician and traveller, born at Antermony, in the west of Scotland, in 1691, died July 1, 1780. At the age of 23 he received the degree of M. D., and went to St. Petersburg, where he presented letters to the court physician of Peter the Great, Dr. Areskin, through whose influence he received an appointment as surgeon to an embassy about to proceed to Persia. Leaving St. Petersburg in July, 1715, he did not reach Ispahan, where the shah held his court, till March, 1717. He returned to St. Petersburg Dec. 30, 1718. He departed in July, 1719, attached to an embassy to China, through Moscow, Siberia, and the great Tartar deserts, to the great wall of China, reaching Peking in November, 1720. After residing half a year in Peking, he returned to Moscow, which he reached in January, 1722. The czar having made him his chief physician, in place of Areskin, now dead, he joined in the expedition headed by Peter himself to assist the shah of Persia in routing the rebel Afghans, and returned with him.
Soon afterward he revisited Scotland, but was at St. Petersburg in December, 1737, when, negotiations for peace between Russia and Turkey having failed, he was sent to Constantinople with new proposals, and returned to St. Petersburg in May, 1738. He finally settled as a merchant in Constantinople, where he married in 1746, and soon after returned to Scotland, fixing his residence on his estate of Antermony. His "Travels from St. Petersburg in Russia to Various Parts of Asia" appeared in 1763 (2 vols. 4to).
John Bell, a Scottish surgeon, born in Ed-inburgh, May 12, 1763, died in Rome, April 15, 1820. He studied for his profession at the medical schools of his native city, taught a pri-vate school of anatomy, and gave lectures on surgical anatomy. His ideas gave offence to the established professors, but notwithstanding! an active opposition, his merits secured him a large class of pupils. However, his rivals managed to exclude him and his class from the public infirmary, in which he had been accustomed to practise gratuitously, and then he gave up his lectures, and addressed himself to private practice only. His works are: "Anatomy," afterward completed by his brother, Sir Charles Bell; "Discourses on the Nature and Cure of Wounds" (2 vols. 8vo); and "The Principles of Surgery (3 vols. 4to). Besides these he wrote letters on professional education, and a posthumous work on Italy.