Harvey, Gideon

, an English physician, was born in Surrey, acquired the Greek and Latin tongues in the Low Countries, and was admitted of Exeter-college, Oxford, in Ib55. Afterwards he went to Leyden, and studied under Vanderlinden, Vanhorn, and Vorstius, all of them professors of physic, and men of eminence. He was taugbt chemistry there by a German, and, at the same place, learned the practical part of chirurgery, and the trade of an apothecary. After this he went to France, and thence returned to Holland, where he was admitted fellow of the college of physicians at the Hague; being-, at that time, physician in ordinary to Charles II. in his exile. He afterwards returned to London, whence he was sent, in 1659, with a commission to Flanders, to be physician to the English army there; where staying till he was tired of that employment, he passed through Germany into Italy, spent some time at Padua, Bologna, and Rome, and then returned through Switzerland and Holland to England. Here he became physician in ordinary to his majesty; and, after king William came over, was made physician of the Tower. At this time there was a great debate who should succeed to this office, and the contending parties were so equally matched in their interests and pretensions, that it was extremely difficult to determine which should have the preference. The matter was at length brought to-a compromise; and Dr. Harvey was promoted, because he was in appearance sickly and infirm, and his death was expected in a few months. He survived, however, not only his rivals, but all his contemporary physicians, and died after he had enjoyed his office above fifty-years. He wrote several medical treatises, which never have been in any esteem. Unlike his predecessor of the same name, whose modesty equalled his knowledge, and who never proceeded a step without fact and experiment, Gideon Harvey was a vain and hypothetical prater throughout. Under pretence of reforming the art of medicine, he attacked the characters of the most eminent physicians of the time, combining: the most insulting sarcasms with many glaring falsehoods and absurdities; and although, in the general war which, | he waged, he justly attacked many abuses which then prevailed in the profession, yet he often committed great errors of judgment. His principal work, part of which was published in 1683, and part in 1686, was entitled “The Conclave of Physicians, detecting their intrigues, frauds, and plots against the patients,” &c. 1

1 Ath. Ox. vol. II. Granger, vol. IV, -Rees’s Cyclopædia.