Saturday, June 26, 2010

Question from Drew - Doctor Harman

I have been told that there is a portrait of Henry VIII with his physicians in attendance.
In this portrait the physicians/doctors have names of which one, I'm led to believe, is "Harman".
Could you shed some light on this portrait and are there any historical details of "Doctor Harman"
Sharing a common surname both myself and family have an interest in this subject.


Kathy said...

Here's a copy of the picture: Harman is the 4th one to the right of Henry. I don't believe he was necessarily one of Henry's personal doctors, but that this was a portrait commissioned by the Guild of Barber Surgeons, of which Dr. Harman was a member.

Lara said...

There is a short entry on him in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. I'll copy a few bits below, but email me if you don't have access to the ODNB and I'll send it to you. It also mentions that two of his children survived to adulthood, but doesn't say if they were male or female.

From the ODNB:
Harman, Edmund (c.1509–1577), barber, was born in Ipswich, the second son of Robert Harman, and of merchant stock. In 1530 he became free of the Barbers' Company and able to practise in the City. Although the trade was a manual one and of low social standing, not normally offering great rewards, in Harman's case it did so through his entry to the king's household by 1533, perhaps through the intervention of Sir William Sabyn, an Ipswich merchant and serjeant-at-arms to the king, or by Thomas Vicary, a surgeon to Henry VIII from 1528 and five times master of the Barbers' Company. From 1533 until the king's death Harman was a member of the small and intimate privy chamber which attended to the king's comfort and safety.

Ladyhoby said...

stumbled over the picture on a tv programme in "a history of Britain" by simon schama

he says that with the king Henry sat in the middle, all powerful all knowing he says that the men hail him as the healer to the country

took some time but found it on you tube if you wish to hear all that he says

Mark said...

He has a Wikipedia article as well, but not much info in it