John Aikin (1747-1822) received his early education in Warrington Academy and then proceeded to Edinburgh where he studied medicine. In 1780 he earned an M.D. from Leiden University. In 1784 he set up his medical practice in Great Yarmouth, but devoted his spare time to literature. However, his first literary productions, two pamphlets supporting the Protestant dissenters, did not match the political and religious values of his orthodox patients, and it was necessary for him to move his practice to London in 1792. Here he practised until forced to retire by a stroke in 1798. Following this he devoted himself to various literary works which included 'Biographical Memoirs of Medicine in Great Britain', 'Lives of John Seldon and Archbishop Usher' and 'Evenings at Home'.