- For others of the same name, see Alexander Arbuthnot.
Arbuthnot served in Madras (now Chennai) as the director of Public Instruction (1855); he was a key force in the incorporation of Madras University (1857); he was the chief secretary to the Madras Government (1862-67); he was a member of the Legislative Council (1867-72); he was a member of the Madras Executive Council; he served on the Viceroy's Executive Council (1875-80); he was acting Governor of Madras, India, for about three months, from 19 February 1872 to 15 May 1872. He later served as a member of the Council of the Secretary of State for India from 1888 to 1893.
He was a noted amateur rose grower. He was son of Alexander Arbuthnot (1768-1828). His brother was Lt-General Sir Charles George Arbuthnot (1824-1899) and his half-brother was Major-General George Bingham Arbuthnot. He was uncle of Brigadier-general Alexander George Arbuthnot.
- Arbuthnot, Alexander John (1851). Select reports of criminal cases determined in the Court of Foujdaree Udalat of Madras. OCLC 19445369.
- Arbuthnot, Alexander John, and Henry Francis Wilson (1899). Lord Clive; the foundation of British rule in India (Builders of Greater Britain). T. Fisher Unwin. OCLC 2328853.
- Arbuthnot, Alexander John, and Constance Arbuthnot (1910). Memories of Rugby & India. T Fisher Unwin, London. OCLC 2235625.
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