Nathaniel Johnston 1629?-1705

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Nathaniel JOHNSTON 1629?-1705

Biographical Note

Probably born at Whitgift, Yorkshire, son of John Johnston, rector of Sutton upon Derwent, but Scottish by origin. Admitted at St Leonard's College, Aberdeen 1647, MA Cambridge 1654, MD (King's College) 1656. He practised as a physician in Pontefract for a while and moved to London in 1686, where he became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He published political works in support of James II, which led to his disgrace after 1688, when he lived in some obscurity, supported by nonjuring and Jacobite friends.


Johnston was a studious antiquary and aseembled many materials for a history of Yorkshire from the 1660s onwards, though his planned book was never completed. He was in regular correspondence with other leading antiquaries of the time, including Ralph Thoresby, Peter Le Neve and Thomas Smith. He is listed in Edward Bernard's Catalogi mansucriptorum, 1697, as owning 130 manuscripts; many of these were his own antiquarian manuscript collections.