William Harvey
Overview
William Harvey was an English physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 who was the first person to describe completely and in detail the systemic circulation
Systemic circulation
Systemic circulation is the part of the cardiovascular system which carries oxygenated blood away from the heart to the body, and returns deoxygenated blood back to the heart. This physiologic theory of circulation was first described by William Harvey...

 and properties of blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 being pumped to the body by the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

. 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
Jurat
Jurat is the name given to the clause at the foot of an affidavit showing when, where, and before whom the actual oath was sworn or affirmation was made....

 of Folkestone
Folkestone
Folkestone is the principal town in the Shepway District of Kent, England. Its original site was in a valley in the sea cliffs and it developed through fishing and its closeness to the Continent as a landing place and trading port. The coming of the railways, the building of a ferry port, and its...

 where he served the office of mayor in 1600.
Quotations

The heart of animals is the foundation of their life, the sovereign of everything within them, the sun of their microcosm, that upon which all growth depends, from which all power proceeds.

'"Dedication to King Charles"

I profess both to learn and to teach anatomy, not from books but from dissections; not from positions of philosophers but from the fabric of nature.

"Dedication to Dr. Argent and Other Learned Physicians"

I avow myself the partisan of truth alone.

"Dedication to Dr. Argent and Other Learned Physicians" :De Generatione Animalium [On the Generation of Animals] (1651) File:SS-harvey.jpg|144px|thumb|right|Man comes into the world naked and unarmed, as if nature had destined him for a social creature, and ordained him to live under equitable laws and in peace...

As art is a habit with reference to things to be done, so is science a habit in respect to things to be known.

Introduction

I appeal to your own eyes as my witness and judge.

Introduction

Encyclopedia
William Harvey was an English physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

 who was the first person to describe completely and in detail the systemic circulation
Systemic circulation
Systemic circulation is the part of the cardiovascular system which carries oxygenated blood away from the heart to the body, and returns deoxygenated blood back to the heart. This physiologic theory of circulation was first described by William Harvey...

 and properties of blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 being pumped to the body by the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

. After his death "The William Harvey Hospital" was constructed in the town of Ashford, several miles from his birthplace of Folkestone.

Family

Harvey's father Thomas Harvey, was a jurat
Jurat
Jurat is the name given to the clause at the foot of an affidavit showing when, where, and before whom the actual oath was sworn or affirmation was made....

 of Folkestone
Folkestone
Folkestone is the principal town in the Shepway District of Kent, England. Its original site was in a valley in the sea cliffs and it developed through fishing and its closeness to the Continent as a landing place and trading port. The coming of the railways, the building of a ferry port, and its...

 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
Chigwell
Chigwell is a civil parish and town in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It is located 11.6 miles north east of Charing Cross. It is served by two London Underground stations and has a London area code.-Etymology:According to P. H...

, in Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

.

Early life and the University of Padua

Harvey's initial education was carried out in Folkestone, where he learned Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

. He then entered the King's School (Canterbury
Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

). Harvey remained at the King's School for five years, after which he joined Caius College in Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

.

Harvey graduated as a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 from Caius College in 1597. He then traveled through France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 to Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, where he entered the University of Padua
University of Padua
The University of Padua is a premier Italian university located in the city of Padua, Italy. The University of Padua was founded in 1222 as a school of law and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern Europe. It is among the earliest universities of the world and the second...

,in 1599.

During Harvey's years of study there, he developed a relationship with Fabricius
Hieronymus Fabricius
Hieronymus Fabricius or Girolamo Fabrizio or by his Latin name Fabricus ab Aquapendende also Girolamo Fabrizi d'Acquapendente was a pioneering anatomist and surgeon known in medical science as "The Father of Embryology."...

 and read Fabricius' De Venarum Ostiolis.

Harvey graduated as a Doctor of Medicine at the age of 24 from the University of Padua on 25 April 1602. It reports that Harvey had

"conducted himself so wonderfully well in the examination and had shown such skill, memory and learning that he had far surpassed even the great hopes which his examiners had formed of him."

The College of Physicians, Marriage and Saint Bartholomew's Hospital

After graduating from Padua, Harvey immediately returned to England where he obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 that same year. Following this, Harvey established himself in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, joining the College of Physicians on 5 October 1604.

A few weeks after his admission, Harvey married Elizabeth Browne, "daughter of Lancelot Browne
Lancelot Browne
Lancelot Browne was an English physician.-Life:He was a native of York. He matriculated at St. John's College, Cambridge, in May 1559, where he was a few months behind William Gilbert, with whom he associated in later life. He graduated B.A. in 1562–3, and M.A. in 1566...

, (himself) Dr. Physic". They had no children.

Elected a Fellow of the College of Physicians on 5 June 1607, Harvey accepted a position at St. Bartholomew's Hospital that he was to occupy for almost all the rest of his life. Succeeding a Dr Wilkinson on 14 October 1609, he became the Physician in charge at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, which enjoined him, "in God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

's most holy name" to "endeavor yourself to do the best of your knowledge in the profession of physic to the poor then present, or any other of the poor at any time of the week which shall be sent home unto you by the Hospitaller... You shall not, for favor, lucre or gain, appoint or write anything for the poor but such good and wholesome things as you shall think with your best advice will do the poor good, without any affection or respect to be had to the apothecary. And you shall take no gift or reward... for your counsel... This you will promise to do as you shall answer before God... "

Harvey earned around thirty-three pounds a year and lived in a small house in Ludgate
Ludgate
Ludgate was the westernmost gate in London Wall. The name survives in Ludgate Hill, an eastward continuation of Fleet Street, and Ludgate Circus.-Etymology:...

, although two houses in West Smithfield were attached as fringe benefits to the post of Physician. At this point, the physician's function consisted of a simple but thorough analysis of patients who were brought to the hospital once a week and the consequent writing of prescriptions.

Lumleian Lecturer

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
John Lumley, 1st Baron Lumley
John Lumley, 1st Baron Lumley was an English aristocrat.- Early life :John Lumley was born about 1533, was grandson and heir of John, Lord Lumley, being son and heir of his only son and heir apparent George Lumley by Jane second daughter and coheir of Sir Richard Knightly of Upton,...

 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
Anatomy
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

 throughout England.

Harvey began his lectures in April 1616. At this time, at the age of thirty-seven, he was described as "a man of lowest stature, round faced; his eyes small, round, very black and full of spirit; his hair as black as a raven and curling". The notes which he used at the time are preserved in the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

.

At the beginning of his lectures, Harvey laid down the canons for his guidance:
  • "To show as much as may be at a glance, the whole belly for instance, and afterwards to subdivide the parts according to their positions and relations.
  • To point out what is peculiar to the actual body which is being dissected.
  • To supply only by speech what cannot be shown on your own credit and by authority.
  • To cut up as much as may be in the sight of the audience.
  • To enforce the right opinion by remarks drawn far and near, and to illustrate man by the structure of animals.
  • Not to praise or dispraise other anatomists, for all did well, and there was some excuse even for those who are in error.
  • Not to dispute with others, or attempt to confute them, except by the most obvious retort.
  • To state things briefly and plainly, yet not letting anything pass unmentioned which can be seen.
  • Not to speak of anything which can be as well explained without the body or can be read at home.
  • Not to enter into too much detail, or in too minute dissection, for the time does not permit.
  • To allot a definite time to each part of the body (i.e. first day's lectures dedicated to the abdomen, the second to the thorax, the third to the brain and so on."


Physician to James I

Harvey continued to participate in the Lumleain lectures while also taking care of his patients at St. Bartholomew's Hospital; he thus soon attained an important and fairly lucrative practice, which climaxed with his appointment as 'Physician Extraordinary' to King James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 on 3 February 1618. He seems to have similarly served various aristocrats, including Lord Chancellor Bacon
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and pioneer of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England...

.

In 1628 he published in Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

 his completed treatise on the circulation of the blood, the De Motu Cordis. As a result of negative comments by other physicians Harvey "fell mightily in his practice", but continued advancing his career. He was re-elected 'Censor' of the College of Physicians in 1629, having been elected for the first time in 1613 and the second time in 1625. Eventually, Harvey was also elected Treasurer of the College.

Excursions abroad, election as physician to Charles I and the English Civil War

At the age of fifty-two, Harvey received commands by the king to accompany the Duke of Lennox
Duke of Lennox
The title Duke of Lennox has been created several times in the Peerage of Scotland, for Clan Stewart of Darnley. The Dukedom, named for the district of Lennox in Stirling, was first created in 1581, and had formerly been the Earldom of Lennox. The second Duke was made Duke of Richmond; at his...

 during his trip abroad. This voyage - the first after his return from Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

 - lasted three years, taking Harvey through the countries of France and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 during the Mantuan War and Plague. During this journey he wrote to Viscount Dorchester:


"I can complain that by the way we could scarce see a dog, crow, kite, raven or any other bird, or anything to anatomize, only some few miserable people, the relics of the war and the plague where famine had made anatomies before I came. It is scarce credible in so rich, populous, and plentiful countries as these were that so much misery and desolation, poverty and famine should in so short a time be, as we have seen. I interpret it well that it will be a great motive for all here to have and procure assurance of settled peace
Peace
Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict. Commonly understood as the absence of hostility, peace also suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the...

. It is time to leave fighting when there is nothing to eat, nothing to be keep, and nothing to be gotten".


Having returned to England in 1632, Harvey accompanied King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 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. Harvey returned to Italy in 1636, dining at the English College, Rome, as a guest of the Jesuits there, in October 1636. It is possible he met Galileo in Florence en route.

During the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 a mob of citizen-soldiers against the King entered Harvey's lodgings, stole his goods, and scattered his papers. The papers consisted of the records of a large number of dissections... of diseased bodies, with this observations on the development on insects, and a series of notes on comparative anatomy." During this period, Harvey maintained his position, helped the wounded on several occasions and protected the King
King
- Centers of population :* King, Ontario, CanadaIn USA:* King, Indiana* King, North Carolina* King, Lincoln County, Wisconsin* King, Waupaca County, Wisconsin* King County, Washington- Moving-image works :Television:...

's children.

The conflicts of the Civil War soon led King Charles to Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

, with Harvey attending, where the physician was made 'Doctor of Physic' in 1642 and later Warden
Warden (college)
A warden is the head of some colleges and other educational institutions. This applies especially at some colleges and institutions at the University of Oxford:* All Souls College* Greyfriars* Keble College* Merton College* New College* Nuffield College...

 of Merton College in 1645. "In Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

 he (Harvey) very soon settled down to his accustomed pursuits, unmindful of the clatter of arms and of the constant marching and countermarching around him, for the city remained the base of operations until its surrender... "

Harvey's later years, death and burial

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. Having retired from St Bartholomew's Hospital
St Bartholomew's Hospital
St Bartholomew's Hospital, also known as Barts, is a hospital in Smithfield in the City of London, England.-Early history:It was founded in 1123 by Raherus or Rahere , a favourite courtier of King Henry I...

 and his various other aforementioned positions, he passed most of this time reading general literature. Several attempts to bring Harvey back into the 'working world' were made, however; here is an excerpt of one of Harvey's answers:


"Would you be the man who should recommend me to quit the peaceful haven where I now pass my life and launch again upon the faithless sea? You know full well what a storm my former lucubrations raised. Much better is it oftentimes to grow wise at home and in private, than by publishing what you have amassed with infinite labour, to stir up tempests that may rob you of peace and quiet for the rest of your days."


Harvey died at Roehampton
Roehampton
Roehampton is a district in south-west London, forming the western end of the London Borough of Wandsworth. It lies between the town of Barnes to the north, Putney to the east and Wimbledon Common to the south. The Richmond Park golf courses are west of the neighbourhood, and just south of these is...

 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
Gout
Gout is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is the most commonly affected . However, it may also present as tophi, kidney stones, or urate...

: it is highly probable that the left middle cerebral artery
Middle cerebral artery
-External links:*...

 malfunctioned, leading to a gradual accumulation of blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 to the brain
Human brain
The human brain has the same general structure as the brains of other mammals, but is over three times larger than the brain of a typical mammal with an equivalent body size. Estimates for the number of neurons in the human brain range from 80 to 120 billion...

 which eventually overwhelmed it. There exists a fairly detailed account of what happened on that day; according to the information at hand, Harvey:


"went to speak and found that he had the dead palsy in his tongue; then he saw what was to become of him. He knew there were then no hopes of his recovery, so presently he sends for his young nephews to come up to him. He then made signs (for seized with the dead palsy in his tongue he could not speak) to let him blood his tongue, which did him little or no good, and so ended his days, dying in the evening of the day on which he was stricken, the palsy giving him an easy passport."


His will
Will (law)
A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death...

 distributed his material goods and wealth throughout his extended family and also left a substantial amount of money to the College of Physicians.

Harvey was buried in Hempstead
Hempstead, Essex
Hempstead is a village near Saffron Walden, in Essex. It is situated on a relatively quiet road, from Saffron Walden to Steeple Bumpstead.The village is the birthplace of Dick Turpin, and is also the final resting place of Doctor William Harvey, who discovered the circulation of blood....

, Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

. 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
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, 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, and deposited in a sarcophagus containing his works and an inscription:


"The body of William Harvey lapt in lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

, simply soldered, was laid without shell or enclosure of any kind in the Harvey vault of this Church of Hempstead
Hempstead, Essex
Hempstead is a village near Saffron Walden, in Essex. It is situated on a relatively quiet road, from Saffron Walden to Steeple Bumpstead.The village is the birthplace of Dick Turpin, and is also the final resting place of Doctor William Harvey, who discovered the circulation of blood....

, Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

, in June, 1657. In the course of time the lead enclosing the remains was, from expose and natural decay, so seriously damaged as to endanger its preservation, rendering some repair of it the duty of those interested in the memory of the illustrious discoverer of the circulation of the Blood. The Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians
The Royal College of Physicians of London was founded in 1518 as the College of Physicians by royal charter of King Henry VIII in 1518 - the first medical institution in England to receive a royal charter...

, of which corporate body Harvey was a munificent Benefactor did in the years 1882-1883, by permission of the Representatives of the Harvey family, undertake this duty. In accordance with this determination the leaden mortuary chest containing the remains of Harvey was repaired, and was, as far as possible, restored to its original state... "

"De Motu Cordis" (otherwise known as "On the Motion of the Heart and Blood")

Published in 1628 in the city of Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

 (host to an annual book fair that Harvey knew would allow immediate dispersion of his work), this 72 page book contains the matured account of the circulation of the blood
Pulmonary circulation
Pulmonary circulation is the half portion of the cardiovascular system which carries Oxygen-depleted Blood away from the heart, to the Lungs, and returns oxygenated blood back to the heart. Encyclopedic description and discovery of the pulmonary circulation is widely attributed to Doctor Ibn...

. Opening with a simple but clear dedication to King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

, the quarto has 17 chapters which give a perfectly clear and connected account of the action of the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 and the consequent movement of the blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 around the body in a circuit. Having only a mere lens at his disposal, Harvey was not able to reach the adequate images that were attained through such microscopes used by Leeuwenhoek; thus he had to resort to theory – and not practical evidence – in certain parts of his book.
After the first chapter, which simply outlines past ideas and accepted rules regarding the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 and lungs, Harvey moves on to a fundamental premise to his treatise, stating that it was extremely important to study the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 when it was active in order to truly comprehend its true movement; a task which even he found of great difficulty, as he says:


"...I found the task so truly arduous... that I was almost tempted to think... that the movement of the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 was only to be comprehended by God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

. For I could neither rightly perceive at first when the systole
Systole (medicine)
Systole is the contraction of the heart. Used alone, it usually means the contraction of the left ventricle.In all mammals, the heart has 4 chambers. The left and right ventricles pump together. The atria and ventricles pump in sequence...

 and when the diastole
Diastole
Diastole is the period of time when the heart fills with blood after systole . Ventricular diastole is the period during which the ventricles are relaxing, while atrial diastole is the period during which the atria are relaxing...

 took place by reason of the rapidity of the movement..."


This initial thought led Harvey's ambition and assiduousness to a detailed analysis of the overall structure of the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 (studied with less hindrances in cold-blooded animals.) After this, Harvey goes on to an analysis of the arteries, showing how their pulsation depends upon the contraction of the left ventricle
Left ventricle
The left ventricle is one of four chambers in the human heart. It receives oxygenated blood from the left atrium via the mitral valve, and pumps it into the aorta via the aortic valve.-Shape:...

, while the contraction of the right ventricle
Right ventricle
The right ventricle is one of four chambers in the human heart. It receives deoxygenated blood from the right atrium via the tricuspid valve, and pumps it into the pulmonary artery via the pulmonary valve and pulmonary trunk....

 propels its charge of blood into the pulmonary artery
Pulmonary artery
The pulmonary arteries carry deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs. They are the only arteries that carry deoxygenated blood....

. Whilst doing this, the physician reiterates the fact that these two ventricles
Ventricle (heart)
In the heart, a ventricle is one of two large chambers that collect and expel blood received from an atrium towards the peripheral beds within the body and lungs. The Atria primes the Pump...

 move together almost simultaneously and not independently like had been thought previously by his predecessors. This discovery was made while observing the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 of such animals as the eel
Eel
Eels are an order of fish, which consists of four suborders, 20 families, 111 genera and approximately 800 species. Most eels are predators...

 and several other types of fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

; indeed, the general study of countless animals was of utmost importance to the physician: among the ones already cited, one can add the study of the snail
Snail
Snail is a common name applied to most of the members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have coiled shells in the adult stage. When the word is used in its most general sense, it includes sea snails, land snails and freshwater snails. The word snail without any qualifier is however more often...

, the invisible shrimp, the chick
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

 before its hatching and even the pigeon. A digression to an experiment can be made to this note: using the inactive heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 of a dead pigeon and placing upon it a finger wet with saliva
Saliva
Saliva , referred to in various contexts as spit, spittle, drivel, drool, or slobber, is the watery substance produced in the mouths of humans and most other animals. Saliva is a component of oral fluid. In mammals, saliva is produced in and secreted from the three pairs of major salivary glands,...

, Harvey was able to witness a transitory and yet incontrovertible pulsation. He had just witnessed the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

's ability to recover from fatigue.

As early as the 17th century, William Harvey had already discerned the existence of the Ductus Arteriosus
Ductus arteriosus
In the developing fetus, the ductus arteriosus , also called the ductus Botalli, is a shunt connecting the pulmonary artery to the aortic arch. It allows most of the blood from the right ventricle to bypass the fetus's fluid-filled lungs. Upon closure at birth, it becomes the ligamentum arteriosum...

 and explained its relative function. Here he says, "...in embryos, whilst the lungs are in a state of inaction, performing no function, subject to no movement any more than if they had not been present, Nature
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

 uses the two ventricles
Ventricle (heart)
In the heart, a ventricle is one of two large chambers that collect and expel blood received from an atrium towards the peripheral beds within the body and lungs. The Atria primes the Pump...

 of the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 as if they formed but one for the transmission of the blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

." However, the apex of Harvey's work is probably the eighth chapter, in which he deals with the actual quantity of blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 passing through the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 from the veins to the arteries. Coming into conflict with Galen
Galen
Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus , better known as Galen of Pergamon , was a prominent Roman physician, surgeon and philosopher...

's accepted view of the liver
Liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...

 as the origin of venous blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

, Harvey estimated the capacity of the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

, how much blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 is expelled through each pump
Pump
A pump is a device used to move fluids, such as liquids, gases or slurries.A pump displaces a volume by physical or mechanical action. Pumps fall into three major groups: direct lift, displacement, and gravity pumps...

 of the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

, and the amount of times the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 beats in a half an hour. All of these estimates were purposefully low, so that people could see the vast amount of blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 Galen
Galen
Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus , better known as Galen of Pergamon , was a prominent Roman physician, surgeon and philosopher...

's theory required the liver
Liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...

 to produce. He estimated that the capacity of the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 was 1.5 impfloz, and that every time the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 pumps, 1/8 of that blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 is expelled. This led to Harvey's estimate that about 1/6 impfloz of blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 went through the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 every time it pumped. The next estimate he used was that the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 beats 1000 times every half an hour, which gave 10 pounds 6 ounces of blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 in a half an hour, and when this number was multiplied by 48 half hours in a day he realized that the liver
Liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...

 would have to produce 540 pounds of blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 in a day.

Having this simple but essential mathematical proportion at hand - which proved the overall impossible aforementioned role of the liver
Liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...

 - Harvey went on to prove how the blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 circulated in a circle by means of countless experiments initially done on serpents
Snake
Snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales...

 and fish
Fish
Fish are a paraphyletic group of organisms that consist of all gill-bearing aquatic vertebrate animals that lack limbs with digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, and cartilaginous and bony fish, as well as various extinct related groups...

: tying their veins and arteries in separate periods of time, Harvey noticed the modifications which occurred; indeed, as he tied the veins, the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 would become empty, while as he did the same to the arteries, the organ would swell up.

This process was later performed on the human body (in the image on the right): the physician tied a tight ligature onto the upper arm of a person. This would cut off blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 flow from the arteries and the veins. When this was done, the arm below the ligature
Ligature (medicine)
In surgery or medical procedure, a ligature consists of a piece of thread tied around an anatomical structure, usually a blood vessel or another hollow structure to shut it off. With a blood vessel the surgeon will clamp the vessel perpendicular to the axis of the artery or vein with a hemostat,...

 was cool and pale, while above the ligature it was warm and swollen. The ligature was loosened slightly, which allowed blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 from the arteries to come into the arm, since arteries are deeper in the flesh than the veins. When this was done, the opposite effect was seen in the lower arm. It was now warm and swollen. The veins were also more visible, since now they were full of blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

. Harvey then noticed little bumps in the veins, which he realized were the valves of the veins, discovered by his teacher, Hieronymus Fabricius
Hieronymus Fabricius
Hieronymus Fabricius or Girolamo Fabrizio or by his Latin name Fabricus ab Aquapendende also Girolamo Fabrizi d'Acquapendente was a pioneering anatomist and surgeon known in medical science as "The Father of Embryology."...

. Harvey tried to push blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 in the vein
Vein
In the circulatory system, veins are blood vessels that carry blood towards the heart. Most veins carry deoxygenated blood from the tissues back to the heart; exceptions are the pulmonary and umbilical veins, both of which carry oxygenated blood to the heart...

 down the arm, but to no avail. When he tried to push it up the arm, it moved quite easily. The same effect was seen in other veins of the body, except the veins in the neck. Those veins were different from the others - they did not allow blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 to flow up, but only down. This led Harvey to believe that the veins allowed blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 to flow to the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

, and the valves maintained the one way flow.

It is also important to state how Harvey had theorized the existence of capillaries: however, unable to discern them due to the aforementioned scarcity of instruments at this disposal, he was never truly capable of understanding how blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 passed from the arterioles into the venules.

Views of the circulation of blood before Harvey

At the time of Harvey's publication, Galen
Galen
Aelius Galenus or Claudius Galenus , better known as Galen of Pergamon , was a prominent Roman physician, surgeon and philosopher...

 had been an influential medical authority for several centuries. Harvey's discoveries inevitably and historically came into conflict with Galen's teachings and the publication of his treatise De Motu Cordis incited considerable controversy within the medical community. Some doctors affirmed they would "rather err with Galen than proclaim the truth with Harvey." Galen incompletely perceived the function of the heart, believing it a "productor of heat", while the function of its affluents, the arteries, was that of cooling the blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 as the lungs "...fanned and cooled the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

 itself". Galen thought that during dilation
Vasodilation
Vasodilation refers to the widening of blood vessels resulting from relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, particularly in the large arteries, smaller arterioles and large veins. The process is essentially the opposite of vasoconstriction, or the narrowing of blood vessels. When...

 the arteries sucked in air, while during their contraction they discharged vapours through pores in the flesh and skin
Skin
-Dermis:The dermis is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis that consists of connective tissue and cushions the body from stress and strain. The dermis is tightly connected to the epidermis by a basement membrane. It also harbors many Mechanoreceptors that provide the sense of touch and heat...

.

Until the 17th century, two separate systems were thought to be involved in blood circulation: the natural system, containing venous blood
Venous blood
Venous blood is deoxygenated blood in the circulatory system. It runs in the systemic veins from the organs to the heart. Deoxygenated blood is then pumped by the heart to lungs via the pulmonary arteries, one of the few arteries in the body that carries deoxygenated blood .Venous blood is...

 which had its origin in the liver, and the vital system, containing arterial blood
Arterial blood
Arterial blood is the oxygenated blood in the circulatory system found in the lungs, the left chambers of the heart, and in the arteries. It is bright red in color, while venous blood is dark red in color...

 and the 'spirits' which flowed from the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

, distributing heat and life to all parts. Like bellows, the lungs fanned and cooled this vital blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

.

Writers before Harvey had also theorized on the nature of blood circulation, including Ibn al-Nafis, Renaldus Columbus, Michael Servetus
Michael Servetus
Michael Servetus was a Spanish theologian, physician, cartographer, and humanist. He was the first European to correctly describe the function of pulmonary circulation...

 and Andrea Cesalpino
Andrea Cesalpino
Andrea Cesalpino was an Italian physician, philosopher and botanist....

.

More facts on Harvey

In terms of his personality, information shows that William Harvey was seen as a "...humorous but extremely precise man...", how he was often so immersed in his own thoughts that he would often suffer from insomnia
Insomnia
Insomnia is most often defined by an individual's report of sleeping difficulties. While the term is sometimes used in sleep literature to describe a disorder demonstrated by polysomnographic evidence of disturbed sleep, insomnia is often defined as a positive response to either of two questions:...

 (cured with a simple walk through the house), and how he was always ready for an open and direct conversation. He also loved the darkness, for it is said that it was there where "...he could best contemplate", thus sometimes hiding out in caves. A heavy drinker of coffee, Harvey would walk out combing his hair every morning full of energy and enthusiastic spirit through the fields. We have also come to understand Harvey's somewhat unorthodox method of dealing with his gout
Gout
Gout is a medical condition usually characterized by recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory arthritis—a red, tender, hot, swollen joint. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint at the base of the big toe is the most commonly affected . However, it may also present as tophi, kidney stones, or urate...

, here cited completely: "...his (Harvey's) cure was thus: he would sit with his legs bare...put them into a pail of water till he was almost dead with cold, then betake himself to his stove, and so 'twas gone". Apart from the already mentioned love of literature, Harvey was also an intense and dedicated observer of birds during his free time: several long and detailed passages of citations could be written delineating his observations in such places as the "Pile of Boulders" (a small island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 in Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

), 'Bass Rock
Bass Rock
The Bass Rock, or simply The Bass, , is an island in the outer part of the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland. It is approximately offshore, and north-east of North Berwick. It is a steep-sided volcanic rock, at its highest point, and is home to a large colony of gannets...

' (island of the East Coast of Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

) and "The Bass" (another Scottish island).

A final allusion to the rules established and followed by the physician throughout his life can be made: general canons which are still followed in hospital
Hospital
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

s today, they embody a final representation of the man that was, William Harvey.

  1. "That none be taken into the Hospital
    Hospital
    A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

     but such as be curable, or but a certain number of such as are curable.
  2. That none lurk here for relief only or for slight causes.
  3. That the Chirurgions, in all difficult cases or where inward physic may be necessary, shall consult with the Doctor, at the times he sitteth once in the week and then the Surgeon himself relate to the Doctor what he conceiveth of the cure and what he hath done therein.
  4. That no Chirurgion or his man do trepan the head, pierce the body, dismember, or do any great operation on the body of any but with the approbation and the direction of the Doctor..."


Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

-winning historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. included William Harvey in a list of "The Ten Most Influential People of the Second Millennium" in the World Almanac & Book of Facts.

See also

  • Amato Lusitano
    Amato Lusitano
    João Rodrigues de Castelo Branco, better known as Amato Lusitano and Amatus Lusitanus , was a notable Portuguese Jewish physician of the 16th century. Like Herophilus, Galen, Ibn al-Nafis, Michael Servetus, Realdo Colombo and William Harvey, he is credited as making a discovery in the circulation...

     - Portuguese 16th century physician, also credited with the discovery of the circulation of the blood
  • Josephus Struthius
    Josephus Struthius
    Josephus Struthius was a Polish professor of medicine in Padua and personal doctor of Polish kings. He also served as mayor of Poznań in 1557–1558 and 1558–1559.His conceptual approach to measurement of the pulse is regarded as pioneering and revolutionary...

  • Scientific revolution
    Scientific revolution
    The Scientific Revolution is an era associated primarily with the 16th and 17th centuries during which new ideas and knowledge in physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and chemistry transformed medieval and ancient views of nature and laid the foundations for modern science...

  • List of multiple discoveries

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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