John Bell of Antermony graduated from Glasgow University in 1713 with a medical degree and became a doctor at the court of Peter the Great. He was posted to Russian embassies in Ispahan, Pekin and Derbent and later worked for the British diplomatic service in Constantinople. Upon his retirement he returned to Scotland and wrote a book about his experiences ‘Travels from St. Petersburg in Russia. To diverse parts of Asia’.
Glasgow University Library is listed as one of the original subscribers to John Bell’s work in 1763. A copy from the Old Library of the University (Sp Coll Bn8-e.17-18) remains in Special Collections to this day and is likely an original subscription copy of the first edition.
To mark the 250th anniversary of this publication David McVey will deliver a talk on John Bell of Antermony’s ‘Travels from St. Petersburg’ as part of East Dunbartonshire Libraries’ Local History Week.
The talk will take place at William Patrick Library, Kirkintilloch on Monday the 4th of March at 7.30pm.