William Harvey was born in Folkestone, Kent. From the Grammar School in Canterbury he was admitted as a pensioner to Caius College, Cambridge in 1593. He travelled in France, Germany and Italy. At Padua, he came under the influence of Fabricius ab Aquapendente, the Professor of Anatomy. Fabricius taught the existence of valves in the veins of the body, and Harvey was determined to discover their function. This was the foundation of his research on the circulation of the blood. The Royal College of Physicians of London appointed him Lumleian Lecturer and it was in the course of these lectures that he first publicly announced his views regarding the circulation of the blood. Harvey's great work 'Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in animalibus' was published in Frankfurt in 1628. During the Civil Wars, Harvey was present at the Battle of Edgehill in 1642. By the King's Mandate, he was appointed Warden of Merton College.
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presented to the College by Dr Blackhall-Morison, 1925