Christian Harel

From Book Owners Online

Christian HAREL

Biographical Note

Born in the Netherlands, son of Adam Harel, an apothecary known to be in the service of Charles II in exile at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1654. M.D. from the University of Leiden, 1681. In the service of Charles II in England from at least 1670, when he is recorded as an “operator”, subsequently as professor of chemistry; he attended both Charles, and Nell Gwyn, in their final illnesses. Honorary fellow of the College of Physicians 1685, full fellow 1687; physician in ordinary to William and Mary, and Queen’s apothecary, 1689. He was granted a pension of £200 per annum by William III in 1702.


In his will, Harel directed that all his books, manuscripts, and the furniture of his study should be left to his son Charles, "that my said son shall always have and reserve the use and occupation of the said study to himself alone". Charles was also bequeathed his medicines in his study and laboratory. However, Harel’s library (“the learned Dr Harold”) was sold, along with that of “another gentleman”, by fixed price in London, 7 April 1714. The catalogue included 494 lots, divided between Latin and Greek books (13), Latin medicine (288), English medicine (46), and English miscellaneous (147).

Characteristic Markings

None of Harel’s books have been identified.


  • Bibliotheca Haroldiana, 1714, ESTC t21587.
  • Furdell, E. F. The royal doctors, 1485-1714, 2001.
  • Innes-Smith, J., English-speaking students of medicine at the University of Leyden, Edinburgh, 1932.
  • Munk, W. The roll of the Royal College of Physicians of London. 2nd edn. London, 1878.