Neil Arnott FRS was a distinguished graduate of Marischal College, University of Aberdeen (AM, 1805; MD 1814) and subsequently learned in London under Sir Everard Home (1756-1832), through whom he obtained, while yet in his nineteenth year, the appointment of full surgeon to an East Indiaman. After making two voyages to China acting as a surgeon in the service of the British East India Company (1807-9 and 1810-11), he settled in London where he practiced from 1811-1854, and quickly acquired a high reputation in his profession. He gave lectures at the Philomathic Institution published as Elements of physics (1827). He was one of the founders of the University of London, 1836. Within a few years he was made physician to the French and Spanish embassies, and in 1837 he became physician extraordinary to the Queen. He was elected to the Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1838. He was a strong advocate of scientific, as opposed to purely classical, education; and he manifested interest in natural philosophy by the gift of 2,000 pounds to each of the four universities of Scotland and to the University of London, to promote its study in the experimental and practical form.