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    Description

    William Harvey Autograph Document Signed. One page, 6" x 9". The date of the document is written in Latin and translates to: "October 2 in the twelfth year of the reign of King Charles [1636]. The body of the document is in English. As physician to Charles I, Harvey sends an order to the King's Exchequer: "Adrian Metcalfe, deputy appoth[ecary] for his Ma[jes] ties houshould, desiereth Allowance for Phisicall stuff delivered and spent upon divers [of] his Ma[jes]ties poore houshould servants from the ffeast of St. John the Baptist las past until the feast of St. Michall the Arch Angell now also past, the somme of ffifteene pound to be paid out of the recept of his Ma[jes]ties Exchequer according to a warrant dormant on that behalf. Will: Harvey."

    Appointed physician extraordinary to James I in 1618, Harvey continued to serve the royal household during Charles' reign. He became in an integral part of the household and was often sent on missions outside of the purview of medicine. He was often absent from St. Bartholomew's Hospital for months at a time. In 1636, he was appointed a member of the party accompanying Thomas Earl of Arundel, the new ambassador extraordinary to the Emperor Ferdinand II, to Vienna. After an extended stay in Italy, where he went to buy paintings for the King, Harvey returned to England. This document, though dated October 2, was probably written and backdated after his arrival in England in December 1636.

    William Harvey (1578-1657) was the first to recognize the full circulation of the blood in the human body. Harvey manuscripts are exceedingly rare. In 1642 with the outbreak of the Civil War in England, Harvey demonstrated his loyalty to Charles by remaining with the court. His unguarded apartment was ransacked by Parliamentary troops and many of his papers were destroyed. Then in 1666, the Great Fire raged through the College of Physicians devastating his library there. This is the first Harvey document we have handled.

    Condition: Uneven toning and dampstaining throughout. A vertical tear (affecting the W in "Will") through the manuscript and wormholes have been professionally restored on verso. Paper has been added along the left margin. Three tabs of cloth tape are affixed to the verso. Previous dealer's markings in pencil appear at the bottom on the front.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2020
    12th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 579

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