William Harvey

Born Apr 1, 1578

William Harvey was an English physician, who described completely and in detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped to the body by the heart, though earlier writers had provided precursors of the theory. After his death the William Harvey Hospital was constructed in the town of Ashford, several miles from his birthplace of Folkestone.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of William Harvey.


1578 Birth Born in 1578.


1593 15 Years Old Harvey's initial education was carried out in Folkestone, where he learned Latin. He then entered the King's School (Canterbury). Harvey stayed at the King's School for five years, after which he matriculated at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge in 1593.
1597 19 Years Old Harvey graduated as a Bachelor of Arts from Caius in 1597.


1599 21 Years Old He then travelled through France and Germany to Italy, where he entered the University of Padua, in 1599. … Read More
1600 22 Years Old William's father, Thomas Harvey, was a jurat of Folkestone where he served the office of mayor in 1600. … Read More
1602 24 Years Old Harvey graduated as a Doctor of Medicine at the age of 24 from the University of Padua on 25 April 1602. … Read More
1604 26 Years Old Following this, Harvey established himself in London, joining the College of Physicians on 5 October 1604. … Read More
1607 29 Years Old Elected a Fellow of the College of Physicians on 5 June 1607, Harvey accepted a position at St Bartholomew's Hospital that he was to occupy for almost all the rest of his life.


1609 31 Years Old Succeeding a Dr Wilkinson on 14 October 1609, he became the Physician in charge at St Bartholomew's Hospital, which enjoined him, "in God's most holy name" to "endeavor yourself to do the best of your knowledge in the profession of physic to the poor then present, or any other of the poor at any time of the week which shall be sent home unto you by the Hospitaller... … Read More
1615 37 Years Old The next important phase of Harvey's life began with his appointment to the office of Lumleian lecturer on 4 August 1615. … Read More
1616 38 Years Old Harvey began his lectures in April 1616. … Read More


1618 40 Years Old Harvey continued to participate in the Lumleian lectures while also taking care of his patients at St Bartholomew's Hospital; he thus soon attained an important and fairly lucrative practice, which climaxed with his appointment as 'Physician Extraordinary' to King James I on 3 February 1618. … Read More


1628 50 Years Old In 1628 he published in Frankfurt his completed treatise on the circulation of the blood, the De Motu Cordis. … Read More
1629 51 Years Old He was re-elected 'Censor' of the College of Physicians in 1629, having been elected for the first time in 1613 and the second time in 1625. … Read More
1632 54 Years Old 1 More Event
Earlier, in 1632, while travelling with the King to Newmarket, he had been sent to investigate a woman accused of being a witch. … Read More
1636 58 Years Old Harvey returned to Italy in 1636, dining at the English College, Rome, as a guest of the Jesuits there, in October 1636. … Read More


1642 64 Years Old The conflicts of the Civil War soon led King Charles to Oxford, with Harvey attending, where the physician was made 'Doctor of Physic' in 1642 and later Warden of Merton College in 1645. "In Oxford he (Harvey) very soon settled down to his accustomed pursuits, unmindful of the clatter of arms and of the constant marching and countermarching around him, for the city remained the base of operations until its surrender... "
1645 67 Years Old The surrender of Oxford in 1645 marks the beginning of Harvey's gradual retirement from public life and duties. … Read More
Harvey was buried in Hempstead, Essex. The funeral procession started on 26 June 1657 leading Harvey to be placed in the 'Harvey Chapel' built by Eliab. … Read More
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