The Age of Anatomy
William Harvey 1578-1657
William Harvey was born in 1578 in Folkestone, Kent. Harvey studied at Caius College, Cambridge before he enrolled at the University of Padua in 1598.
At the time when Harvey was a student at Padua, Galileo was a tutor there and there is little doubt that he was highly influenced by the Galilean way of thinking that enthused the university as a whole. Harvey learned about the human body by dissection and anatomical observation.237
Harvey’s primary tutor at Padua was Fabrizio d’Acquapendente who was the first person to clearly describe the valves in the veins.
So it was that William Harvey studied at the University of Padua in Italy where he studied the work of Vesalius.
He received his medical degree in 1602 and subsequently returned to England where he started to practice medicine in the London area. He took up appointment as a doctor at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London and became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.
The success he was to achieve as one of the most prestigious doctors in London gained him the post of physician to King James 1, whom he attended during his final illness. Harvey then became physician to his son Charles 1. 126
This was carried out because it was believed illness was sometimes caused by there being too much blood in the system. At first, Harvey's ideas were so controversial some of his patients left his practice. However, despite many still not believing his findings his fame spread throughout Europe and his contribution became widely recognised. 126