Is your surname Harvey?

Research the Harvey family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


William Harvey

Birthdate: (79)
Birthplace: Folkestone, Kent, England
Death: June 3, 1657 (79)
Greater London, England
Immediate Family:

Son of Sir Thomas Harvey, IV and Joan Harvey (Halke)
Husband of Elizabeth Harvey (Browne)
Father of Roger Harvey Snr; William Harvey; George Harvey and Ann Harvey
Brother of Sarah Harvey; Daniel Harvey; John Harvey; Thomas Harvey; Eliab Harvey and 3 others
Half brother of Juliana Harvey; Sarah Harvey; John Harvey; William Harvey; Thomas Harvey and 6 others

Occupation: Physician, discoverer of the circulation of blood
Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:

About William Harvey

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...William Harvey (1 April 1578 – 3 June 1657) was an English physician who was the first person to describe completely and in detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped to the body by the heart. After his death "The William Harvey Hospital" was constructed in the town of Ashford, several miles from his birthplace of Folkestone..."

"...Harvey's father Thomas Harvey, was a jurat of Folkestone where he served the office of mayor in 1600. Records and personal descriptions delineate him as an overall calm, diligent and intelligent man whose "sons... revered, consulted and implicitly trusted in him... (they) made their father the treasurer of their wealth when they acquired great estates...(He) kept, employed and improved their gainings to their great advantage." Thomas Harvey's portrait can still be seen in the central panel of a wall of the dining-room at Rolls Park, Chigwell, in Essex..."

"...Harvey's initial education was carried out in Folkestone, where he learned Latin. He then entered the King's School (Canterbury). Harvey remained at the King's School for five years, after which he joined Caius College in Cambridge.

Harvey graduated as a Bachelor of Arts from Caius College in 1597. He then traveled through France and Germany to Italy, where he entered the University of Padua,in 1599..."

"...After graduating from Padua, Harvey immediately returned to England where he obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the University of Cambridge that same year. Following this, Harvey established himself in London, joining the College of Physicians on 5 October 1604.

A few weeks after his admission, Harvey married Elizabeth Browne, "daughter of Lancelot Browne, (himself) Dr. Physic". They had no children..."

"...The next important phase of Harvey's life began with his appointment to the office of Lumleian lecturer on 4 August 1615. The Lumleian lectureship, founded by a Lord Lumley and a Dr. Caldwell in 1583, consisted in pronouncing lectures for a period of seven years, with the purpose of "spreading light" and increasing the general knowledge of anatomy throughout England..."

"...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..."

"...Having returned to England in 1632, Harvey accompanied King Charles I wherever he went as 'Physician in Ordinary.' In particular, Charles' hunting expeditions gave Harvey access to many deer carcasses; it was upon them that Harvey made many observations and consequent theories..."

"...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..."

"...The surrender of Oxford in 1645 marks the beginning of Harvey's gradual retirement from public life and duties. Now sixty-eight years old and childless, Harvey had lost three brothers and wife at this time. He thus decided to return to London and live with his brothers Eliab and Daniel separately and in different periods of time..."

"...Harvey died at Roehampton in the house of this brother Eliab on 3 June 1657. Descriptions of the event seem to show that he died of a cerebral hemorrhage from vessels long injured by gout..."

"...Harvey was buried in Hempstead, Essex. The funeral procession started on the 26 June 1657 leading Harvey to be placed in the 'Harvey Chapel' built by Eliab. The conditions of Harvey's burial are also known: "Harvey was laid in the chapel between the bodies of his two nieces, and like them he was lept in lead, coffin less ". On St.Luke's Day, October 18, 1883, Harvey's remains were reinterred, the leaden case carried from the vault by eight Fellows of the College of Physicians,.."

SOURCE: "Wikipedia contributors, 'William Harvey', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 27 August 2011, 18:34 UTC, <> [accessed 29 August 2011]

view all

William Harvey's Timeline

April 1, 1578
Folkestone, Kent, England
June 3, 1657
Age 79
Greater London, England