Dr William Harvey, of Stoke Ferry, Norfolk 

Born: 1732? and died 1803
Parents: Robert Harvey (1700-1756) and Mary Harvey (nee Wheasenham, 1701?-1777).
Brother of:
1. Robert Harvey (possibly had a son William?).
2. Mary (?-1784).
3. Elizabeth (?-1798).
4. Ann Helsham (1731?-1793) who married Dr Henry Linhooke Helsham MD (1730-1805).
5. Susan Forby nee Harvey (1732-1824) who married Thomas Forby.
He married: Not known.
They had issue: Not known.

Dr William Harvey: An Overview

The information I have about William Harvey comes from the following sources:

1. The book titled "Stoke Ferry" by Doris E Coates, 1980, page 61.  This mentions the doctors in the village including the Harveys and the Helshams living near the church.
2. A mention in his father's will.
3. His memorial inside All Saint's Church, Stoke Ferry.


Page 61 of "Stoke Ferry" reads as follows:
The Doctors - Harvey and Steele
In medicine, as in the law, it was traditional that sons would follow fathers and grandfathers in their professions.  This explains why just two families provided local doctors for the whole of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  It is interesting that one house (The Lodge, which together with Lodge Cottage was one property) was 'The Doctors House' from 1771 until 1954.

Dr Robert Harvey 
m. Mary







For many years surgeon in the Royal Navy. Bought the Lodge and adjoining property in 1771.

d. 1784

d. 1798

d. 1793
m. Henry Linhook Helsham, M.D.

(name unknown)



Henry Helsham, M.D. 
the younger

William Harvey 
the younger


All the members of this family are commemerated on stone slabs in the floor of the aisle in All Saints Church, Stoke Ferry.
In 1771, when Peter Smith, grocer and draper, went bankrupt, Dr William Harvey bought his estate at public auction for £378.  It included the grocer and drapery shop with house adjoining, the old chemist's shop, and the lodge with its out-buildings and servant's quarters (now 'Lodge Cottage').  Dr Harvey and his family lived at 'The Lodge' and the two shops and houses were let.  In his medical practice he was assisted by first his brother-in-law, Henry Linhook Helsham, then by his nephew, Henry Helsham, the younger, both described as 'surgeons'.
Later owners of The Lodge found a print of William Harvey (1578-1657) who discovered the circulation of the blood and the working of the heart.  Given that the name William recurs, and the custom of sons following their father's profession, it is reasonable to assume that the doctors at Stoke Ferry were descendents of a famous ancestor.
Dr Harvey died in 1803, and Helsham the younger continued as doctor.  The widow sold the Chemist shop to Roger Micklefield and the grocer and drapery shop to Abraham West, keeping the Lodge for her family's use, and still the doctor's surgery.  In the 1820s the practice (and the Doctor's house) was brought by Dr Henry Steele, whose family continued there until 1928.

It should also be noted that while Doris Coates has refered to Robert Harvey as being a doctor, in his will he refers to himself as a Grocer.



The Old Chemist Shop
Stoke Ferry, Norfolk

Formally the Doctor's House
 home of William Harvey and used as the surgery


If you have any information to add to what is listed please contact me on jj@jjhc.info
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