Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Scheutzer, John Gaspar

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John Gaspar Scheuchzer in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

SCHEUTZER, JOHN GASPAR, M.D. (1702–1729), physician, born in Switzerland in 1702, was son of John James Scheutzer of Zürich, the author of the ‘Bibliotheca Scriptorum Historiæ Naturalis,’ the ‘Nova Literaria Helvetica,’ and the ‘Museum Diluvianum.’ He graduated at Zürich in 1722, reading a dissertation ‘De Diluvio.’ He came to England and became librarian to Sir Hans Sloane. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, 14 May 1724, and received the licence of the College of Physicians, 22 March 1725. In 1728 he was created doctor of medicine at Cambridge, when George I visited the university. He died a few months afterwards in Sir Hans Sloane's house, on 10 April 1729.

Scheutzer's only medical work, published in 1729, is ‘An Account of the Success of inoculating the Small Pox, for the years 1727–1728.’ Had he lived he proposed, in succession to Dr. James Jurin [q. v.], to continue the account in each year. He records the inoculation of 124 people, and discusses three cases in which death was said to be due to inoculation, concluding with a comparison of the comparative danger to life of acquired small-pox and of that induced by inoculation. An appendix mentions 244 cases of inoculation at Boston in New England by Dr. Zabdiel Boylston, and twenty-five in Ireland, mostly by Hannibal Hall, a surgeon, and the causes of fatal results are examined. Scheutzer published a paper in the ‘Philosophical Transactions’ on the method of measuring the heights of mountains, and translated Kaempfer's ‘History of Japan and Description of Siam’ in 1727. A medical commonplace book of his, in two volumes, contains little but notes of his reading, and, with several of his letters, is in the Sloane collection in the British Museum. The same collection contains many letters to him from his father, brother, and others. His portrait was painted by J. H. Heidegger and engraved by T. Laud.

[Munk's Coll. of Phys. ii. 91; Thomson's Hist. of the Royal Society, 1812; Works.]

N. M.