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Heurne, Jan van

1. Dates
Died: 58
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
2. Father
Occupation: Aristocrat
Otto van Heurne. Some works say it was a prominent family; Lindeboom says a noble family. Note that Heurne married the daughter of a patrician. I think I am justified to list the father as an aristocrat.
No explicit indication whatever of his financial situation, although it is suggestive that Heurne was able to spend ten years abroad as a student.
3. Nationality
Birth: Dutch
Career: Dutch
Death: Dutch
4. Education
Schooling: Louvain; Paris; Padua, M.D.
Beginning in 1561, he studied medicine in Louvain for two years.
After three more years of study in Paris, he moved on to Padua in 1567. M.D. there in 1571. I assume a B.A. or its equivalent.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic, Calvinist
He converted to Calvinism about the time when the Netherlands became Calvinist. He had to be Calvinist to hold a chair in Leiden.
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Medicine
In the history of medicine he is known primarily for his advocacy of bedside teaching, which was rare then and unknown in the Netherlands. It was introduced in Leiden (under his son) half a century later.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Medicine, Academia
Secondary: Patronage
Immediately after completing his medical education, he was for two years the personal physician to Francois Perrenot, the nephew (Lindeboom says brother) of Cardinal Granvelle. When Heurne converted to Calvinism, he left to return to the Netherlands.
He practiced medicine in Utrecht from 1573 until 1581. I gather that he continued his practice after his move to Utrecht; he was known as one of the most prominent physicians in the Netherlands, whose patients included William and Maurice of Orange.
In 1581 he was appointed professor of medicine at Leiden, a position he held until his death. He was Rector of the university during six separate years between 1583 and 1600.
8. Patronage
Types: Aristrocrat, Court Official
See the entries above. Recall as well that someone stood behind the appointment at Leiden.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Medical Practice
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
  1. G.A. Lindeboom, Dutch Medical Biography.
  2. A. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Aerzte aller Zeiten und Voelker (3rd ed., Munich, 1962), 3, 205.
  3. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biographisch Woordenboek.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

1995 Al Van Helden
Last updated
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