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William Harvey

      William Harvey was born on April 1, 1578, at Folkestone, on the southern coast of Kent. He was the eldest of nine children; of the rest little more is known, than that several of the brothers were among the most eminent merchants in the city of London during the reigns of the two first Stuarts. His father, Thomas Harvey, followed no profession. He married Joanna Falke, at the age of twenty, and lived upon his own estate at Folkestone. This property devolved by inheritance upon his eldest son; and the greater part of it was eventually bequeathed by him to the college at which he was educated.

      At ten years of age he commenced his studies at the grammar school in Canterbury; and upon May 31, 1593, soon after the completion of his fifteenth year, was admitted as a pensioner at Caius College, Cambridge.

      At that time a familiar acquaintance with logic and the learned languages was indispensable as a first step in the prosecution of all the branches of science, especially of medicine; and the skill with which Harvey avails himself of the scholastic form of reasoning in his great work on the Circulation, with the elegant Latin style of all his writings, particularly of his latest work on the Generation of Animals, affords a sufficient proof of his diligence in the prosecution of these preliminary studies during the next four years which he spent at Cambridge. The two next were occupied in visiting the principal cities and seminaries of the Continent. He then prepared to address...

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