John Bull is a literary and cartoon character created to personify Britain by Dr. John Arbuthnot in 1712 and popularized first by British print makers and then overseas by illustrators such as American cartoonist Thomas Nast.
Bull is usually portrayed as a stout man with a bowler hat and Union Jack waistcoat, often accompanied by a bulldog. John Bull has been used in a variety of different ad campaigns over the years, and is a common sight in British editorial cartoons of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The cartoon image of stolid stocky conservative but well-meaning John Bull, dressed like an English country squire, sometimes explicitly contrasted with the conventionalized scrawny, French revolutionary sans-culottes Jacobin, was developed from about 1790 by British satirical artists James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson and George Cruikshank.
John Bull was also one of the names of a series of British periodicals.