individual genius

william harvey
William Harvey was born in Folkestone, Kent on 1 April 1578. His father was a merchant. Harvey was educated at King's College, Canterbury and then at Cambridge University. He then studied medicine at the University of Padua in Italy, where the scientist and surgeon Hieronymus Fabricius tutored him.
Harvey retained a close relationship with the royal family through the English Civil War and witnessed the Battle of Edgehill. Thanks to Charles I he was, for a short time, warden of Merton College, Oxford (1645 - 1646). He died on 3 June 1657.
Harvey was also the first to suggest that humans and other mammals reproduced via the fertilisation of an egg by sperm. It took a further two centuries before a mammalian egg was finally observed, but nonetheless Harvey's theory won credibility during his lifetime.
Fabricius, who was fascinated by anatomy, recognised that the veins in the human body had one-way valves, but was puzzled as to their function. It was Harvey who took the foundation of Fabricius's teaching, and went on to solve the riddle of what part the valves played in the circulation of blood through the body.