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DR. WILUAM HARVEY (1578-1657) AND THE HARVEY SOCIETY OF NEW YORK* ALEXANDER G. BEARNi and D. GERAINTJAMESt WilUam Harvey was born at Folkestone on April 1, 1578, and died at Roehampton onJune 3, 1657, so the present generation has the unique privilege of being able to commemorate the tercentenary of the death and the four-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Britain's most distinguished physician. Harvey was a smaU man, sharp-eyed and of olive complexion. His broad head narrowed to a point at the chin, which bore a small tuft of beard under a thick moustache. A raised left eyebrow gave him a quizzical expression. John Aubrey relates that he was rapid in utterance and short of temper but ready at all times to instruct any that were modest and respectful to him. His numerous idiosyncrasies included keeping sugar in his salt cellar, combing his hair whilst walking about the fields instead of indoors, fingering the dagger he always wore, and treating his own gout by putting his legs in a bucket ofcold water and then roasting them in front ofa fire. He was addicted to that newly imported beverage, coffee. Folkestone Father Thomas Harvey was a farmer who also built up a postal- and goods-carrying business between Folkestone and Canterbury. He married Joane Halke of Hastingleigh, sister of his business partner. Their firstchild, William, was bornon April 1, 1578, and brought up in comfort. Business was booming in Folkestone, for this member of the Cinque Ports had special duties and privileges in provisioning the Royal Navy. The cross-Channel courier and postal service was expanding and ?This paper is in part based on contributions by Alexander G. Beam and D. Geraint James inCirculationoftheBlood, edited by D. GeraintJames (Tunbridge Wells, Kent: Pitman, 1978). tCornell University Medical College, 525 East 68th Street, New York, New York 10021. fPast president, Harveian Society of London.© 1978 by The University of Chicago. 003 1-5982/78/2104-0036$01.00 524 I Alexander G. Beam and D. GeraintJames · Harvey Society ofNew York with it the business interests of his father, who was elected mayor in 1586. When William Harvey was 10 years ofage he must have witnessed Folkestone's hasty war preparations, for on July 8, 1588, the Privy Council gave warning of impending invasion by the Spanish Armada. The local defenders manned dieir posts, beacons were lit, and Thomas Harvey provisioned the Navy. He must have done so exceptionally well, for the Royal Navy first contained the Spanish fleet in the Calais roads and then battered it into defeat. An imposing statue of William Harvey now stands on the seafront at Folkestone. Education Harvey went to King's School, Canterbury (1588-1593), and to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (1593-1599), taking his B. A. degree (1597) and his M.D. degree (1602). From Cambridge he went to Padua, where anatomy was flourishing under Hieronymous Fabricius of Aquapendente, whereas the field of physics and mathematics was dominated by GaUleo. His Padua M. D. diploma, signed by Fabricius, is now in the Ubrary of the Royal College of Physicians. It gave him leave "To practise and to teach arts and medicine in every land and seat of learning." Royal College ofPhysicians Harvey's association with the college commenced in 1604 and culminated when he dedined the presidency in 1654 because of age. He became a fellow in 1607, censor, Lumleian lecturer, and treasurer; he also had a library built at his own expense. Soon after his admission to the college, he married Elizabeth Browne on November 24, 1604, in St. Sepulchre's Church, Holborn. She was the daughter of Dr. Lancelot Browne, who had been physician to Queen Elizabeth. She is said to have been tall, of a dark complexion and somewhat severe aspect. They had no children. St. Bartholomew's Hospital (1609-1643) Harvey was appointed physician to St. Bartholomew's Hospital in 1609 at the annual salary of£25, with 40 shillings for livery. He was expected to attend twice a week throughout the year or more frequendy for emergencies. His patients were the most influential and distinguished men of the day. He was Physician Extraordinary toJames I...


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