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Jan Baptista van Helmont
Heer van Royenborch
(1580-1644)


Other Titles

Heer van Merode[K91]
Heer van Oirschot[K91]
Heer van Pellaines[K91]

Biographical

A physician, philosopher, mystic, and chemist.[K91]
Sent to the University of Louvain to complete his studies in arts, but he later withdrew, despite being offered the title of Master of the Arts.[K91]
Turned to medical studies and distinguished himself. He was offered to teach surgery at the Medical College of Louvain.[K91]
Travelled to Switzerland and Italy (1600-02) and to England, Spain and France (1602-05) to accumulate medical experience which he put to use on his return during the outbreak of the plague in Antwerp, 1605.[K91]
He rejected offers from royalty to become a private physician.[K91]
Retired to Vilvoorde, 1609-16.[K91]
After experimenting with alchemy for a number of years, he set up a medical practice in Brussels, after 1616.[K91]
Began to encounter trouble from religious scholars because of his writings from 1621.[K91]
Spanish Inquisition began proceedings against him, 1624.[K91]
Arrested and confined in a Franciscan convent, 1634, and then kept under house arrest until 1637 when he was released with no ruling ever made for or against him.[K91]
Received a posthumous rehabilitation from the Archbishop of Mechelen, 1646.[K91]
He recognised the existence of discrete gases and identified carbon dioxide.[K91]
He was a proponent of spontaneous generation, the transmutation of metals and a supporter of Paracelsian medicine.[K91]
Most of his works were published after his death by his son.[K91]
The ownership of some of his titles, which he gained through his marriage, has been disputed by modern scholars.[K91]

Place of birth: Brussels[K91]
Place of baptism: Saint Gudula church, Brussels[K91]
Place of death: Brussels?[K91]
Place of burial: unknown[K91]


 

 

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