Monday, April 30, 2012

William Harvey & William Lawes

One of the great successors of Galen in modern times is certainly William Harvey (+1657AD).  His contribution to medicine, and specifically regarding the circulation of the blood, is enormous.  His experiments are quite interesting, and his manner of both respecting his forebears in the field of medicine, and yet adding greatly to the body of knowledge is surely an example to any scholar.

In addition, he was a royalist who served as court physician to King James I (VI) and lived through the English Civil War as a supporter of the Stuart King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland.  Indeed, his great work on the Circulation of the Blood was dedicated to Charles I (+1649AD).

You can find the full text of Harvey's magnum opus here:

File:William Harvey ( 1578-1657) Venenbild.jpg

To keep you in the mood of that era of Stuart England, enjoy a recording of some music written by a composer from the same court of Charles I: William Lawes (+1645AD).  He, however, like his king, did not survive the hostilities of the English Civil War.  Thomas Jordan wrote a splendid epitaph for Lawes, who died fighting against the Puritan Parliamentarians:
Will. Lawes was slain by such whose wills were laws.

William Lawes, Consort Set a 6 in B Flat Major

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