1902 Encyclopedia > John Bell

John Bell
Scottish traveller and author
(1691-1780)




JOHN BELL, of Antermony, a Scottish traveller in the John Bell first half of the last century, was born in 1691, and edu-cated for the medical profession, in which he took the degree of M.D. In 1714 he set out for St Petersburg, where, through the introduction of a countryman, he was nominated medical attendant to Valensky, recently ap-pointed to the Persian embassy, with whom he travelled from 1715 to 1718. The next four years hie spent in an embassy to China, passing though Siberia and the great Tatar deserts. He had scarcely rested from this last journey when he was summoned to attend Peter the Great in his perilous expedition to Derbend and the Caspian Gates. The narrative of this journey he has enriched with interesting particulars of the public and private life of that remarkable prince. In 1738 he was sent by the Russian Government on a mission to Constantinople, to which, accompanied by a single attendant who spoke Turkish, he proceeded, in the midst of winter and all the horrors of a barbarous warfare, returning in May to St Petersburg. It appears that after this he was for several years estab-lished as a merchant at Constantinople, where he married in 1746. In the following year he retired to his estate of Antermony in Scotland, where he spent the remainder of his life. He died in 1780. His travels, published at Glasgow, in 2 vols. 4to, 1763, were speedily translated into French, and widely circulated in Europe.







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