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October 6, 1962


JAMA. 1962;182(1):70-71. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050400072016

The Reverend Doctor Stephen Hales remained active as the "perpetual curate" of Teddington, Middlesex, from 1709, the year of his appointment, until his death in 1761.1 To medical and physiological scientists, this ordained minister is best known for his contributions to the dynamics of the circulation, particularly for the first quantitative measurement of the systemic blood pressure. He is equally well known to botanists for original discoveries in their field. Toward the close of his life, he concerned himself with the practical and social aspects of science and became involved in such diverse activities as the passage of the Gin Act of 1736, a trusteeship for founding the colony of Georgia, and the effective ventilation of jails and slave ships.2

Stephen was born in 1677 at Bekesbourne, Kent. Little is known about his life and education prior to his entry into Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, at age 19.