JOHNSTON, ARTHUR ( ), Scottish physician and writer of Latin verse, was the son of an Aberdeenshire laird Johnston of Johnston and Caskieben, and on his mother's side a grandson of the seventh Lord Forbes. It is probable that he began his university studies at one, or both, of the colleges at Aberdeen, but in 1608 he proceeded to Italy and graduated M.D. at Padua in 161o. Thereafter he resided at Sedan, in the company of the exiled Andrew Melville (q.v.), and in 1619 was in practice in Paris. He appears to have returned to England about the time of James I.'s death and to have been in Aberdeen about 1628. He met Laud in Edinburgh at the time of Charles I.'s Scottish coronation (1633) and was encouraged by him in his literary efforts, partly, it is said, for the undoing of Buchanan's reputa tion as a Latin poet. He was appointed rector of King's College, Aberdeen, in June 1637. Four years later he died at Oxford, on
his way to London, whither Laud had invited him.
Johnston left more than ten works, all in Latin. On two of these, published in the same year, his reputation entirely rests: (a) his version of the Psalms (Psatmorum Davidis paraphrasis poetica et canticorum evangelicorum, Aberdeen, 1637), and (b) his anthology of contempo rary Latin verse by Scottish poets (Deliciae poetarum scotorum hujus aevi illustrium, Amsterdam, 1637). His sacred poems, which had appeared in the Opera (1642) , were reprinted by Lauder in his Poetarum Scotorum musae sacrae (1739). The earliest lives are by Lauder (op. cit.) and Benson (in Psalmi Davidici, 1741). Ruddiman's Vindication of Mr. George Buchanan's Paraphrase (1745) began a pamphlet controversy regarding the merits of the rival poets.