William Harvey, an English physician, discoverer of the circulation of the blood, born in Folkestone, Kent, April 1,1578, died in London, June 3, 1657. He was the eldest of a family of nine children, and at 10 years of age was sent by his father to the grammar school in Canterbury, whence in 1593 he went to Caius college, Cambridge. Having taken his degree of B. A., he repaired about 1598 to the university of Padua, where he attended the lectures of Fabricius ab Aquapendente and other eminent professors of medical science, and in 1602 graduated as doctor of medicine. Returning to England, he settled in London, and in 1607 was admitted a fellow of the royal college of physicians. Two years later he was appointed physician to St. Bartholomew's hospital, a post which he filled uninterruptedly till 1644, and in 1615 became lecturer on anatomy and surgery in the college of physicians. It was in 161!), while he was discharging the duties of this latter office, that the discovery with which his name has since been associated is supposed to have been made, although, from his desire to thoroughly confirm and mature his opinions, the published treatise on the subject, entitled Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus, and dedicated to Charles I., did not appear till 1628 (4to, Frankfort). Harvey, it is said, expressed himself indebted to his former master, Fabricius, for his discovery; but beyond the inductive method of research which led to it, and which he acquired from the teachings of the Paduan professor, and the discovery by the latter of the valves in the veins, the merit is undoubtedly his own.
It appears certain, however, that Caesalpinus, who died at Rome about the time that Harvey left Italy, distinctly stated in one of his works the system of the circulation of the blood. (See Caesalpinus.) For two years previous to the death of James I. Harvey was the royal physician extraordinary, and in 1632 Charles I. appointed him his physician in ordinary. He was thenceforth intimately connected with the court, and frequently prosecuted his anatomical experiments in the presence of the king, whose fortunes he followed after the commencement of the revolution, and with whom he was present at the battle of Edgehill. He subsequently retired with the king to Oxford, where he was made warden of Merton college and received the degree of M. D., and where he remained until the surrender of the city to the parliamentary forces. Ever more interested in the advancement of science than in the mutations of political strife, he devoted himself while there to researches on generation, a subject which had engaged his attention for some years previous, and upon which he published in 1651, five years after his return to London, his second important work, Exercitationes de Generatione Ani-malium. His adherence to the royal cause had meanwhile lost him his position as physician to St. Bartholomew's hospital; but he continued to discharge his functions as lecturer at the college of physicians until near the close of his life.
In 1652 he received the rare honor of having his statue placed in the college hall, with an inscription testifying to the value of his discoveries. He subsequently built an addition to the college and endowed it with his paternal estate, one of the conditions of the grant being that an oration should be delivered annually in commemoration of the benefactors of the college, and an " exhortation to the members to study and search out the secrets of nature by way of experiment, and for the honor of the profession to continue mutually in love." Three years before his death he was elected president, but declined the office on account of his advanced age. - For many years Harvey experienced the treatment with which all innovators or discoverers are familiar, and complained that his practice declined considerably after the publication of his treatise on the circulation of the blood, a result which ho had indeed predicted. He was far, however, from being looked upon as an empiric; and notwithstanding the hostility of some eminent continental professors and of the older members of the profession generally, he enjoyed the intimacy of the king, and of Bacon, Hobbes, Cowley, and other persons of note in England, several of whom were his devoted partisans.
He, moreover, lived to be considered as the first anatomist and physician of his time, and to see his discoveries universally acknowledged. He was a man of even temper, and in his controversy on the doctrine of circulation with Riolanus, professor of anatomy in Paris, the only one in which he personally engaged, exhibited a forbearance, modesty, and discretion eminently worthy of imitation. Harvey's works, which are written in Latin, display elegant scholarship, and occasionally a considerable degree of eloquence. The best edition, published by the college of physicians in 1766, and preceded by a life of the author in Latin by Dr. Lawrence, contains, in addition to his works above enumerated, his reply to Riolanus, an anatomical account of Thomas Parr, who died at the age of 152, and nine letters on anatomical subjects. During the civil war his house in London was pillaged, and a number of valuable manuscripts were destroyed, the loss of which he never ceased to deplore. The library of the British museum possesses two manuscript works by him, De Musculis et Motu Anima-lium and De Anatomia Unkersali; the latter, dated April, 1616, contains the germ of the doctrine of circulation.
The most recent publication of Harvey's works is the translation by R. Willis, M. D., brought out under the auspices of the Sydenham society (8vo, London, 1847). - For authorities concerning his life, see Lawrence's memoir, Sprengel's "History of Medicine," Aikin's "Biographical Memoirs of Medicine in Great Britain," "Lives of British Physicians" in Murray's "Family Library," etc.; and for a notice of his discoveries, see Circulation, and Embryology.
William Harvey, an English engraver and designer, born in Newcastle-on-Tyne about 1800, died Jan. 13, 18GG. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to Thomas Bewick, and in 1816 went to London and put himself under the instruction of Havdon, whose "Dentatus" he engraved on wood. From 1840 he almost exclusively devoted himself to designing for wood engraving, and produced an immense number of works. Many important publications were illustrated by him, including Lane's translation of the "Arabian Nights," the " Pilgrim's Progress," Northcote's "Fables," and Knight's " Pictorial Shakespeare." His style is original, but has occasional mannerisms.