William Harvey ( 1578 - 1657)



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William Harvey a doctor in the renaissance was alive in 1578 – 1657. He was famous for finding and describing exactly what makes the blood pump around the body. His discovery was an advancement on what René Descartes said in his book called ‘Description of the human body’. However he was not the first to prove this theory, a Spanish physician, Michael Servetus discovered this a ¼ of a century before Harvey was born however all his paper’s where thrown away and hid. However William Harvey found them nearly a century later and travelled all over in order to pursue his discoveries, he spent a lot of time in Italy, in the venerable English college in Rome.

Early life and education

Harvey an English doctor from Kent. There is now a hospital named after him in Kent, as a young man he went to the king’s school in Canterbury and after went to the Caius College, Cambridge from which he received a degree. He then went to Padua University and studied under Fabricius, he then graduated from the university in 1602. He then became a doctor at Bartholomew’s hospital in London and became a fellow member of the royal college of physicians. In his will he left some money for a all boys school to be built in his home town of Folkestone which then opened in 1674.

New circulatory model

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Harvey’s teacher at Padua, Fabricius, clamed the discovery of ‘valves’ in veins but did not know what they where used for. This did not satisfy Harvey and he became attached to the topic and he set out to find the true way that the blood flows through the body and these ‘valves’ help.

By Tom and Mathew