Harvey, Joshua Reuben (1804–87), physician and naturalist, was born in Cork, into a quaker family, son of Reuben Harvey (1770–1830), American consul in Cork, and Mary Harvey (née Fennell). He entered TCD, graduating BA (Dubl.) in 1827, and in 1828 graduated MD (Edin.) and was admitted MRCS (Lond.).
Returning to Cork, he was appointed physician to the general dispensary; physician, and subsequently consulting physician (1830–78), to the South Infirmary; and physician (1830–78) to the Lying-in Hospital, Nile (Sheares) St. He lectured in the practice of medicine at the Cork School of Medicine, before being appointed the first professor of midwifery (1849–78) at QCC. Active in Cork medical societies, he was elected secretary, subsequently president (1855), of the Cork Medical and Surgical Society and president of the Cork Medical Protection Association (1874) and of the Medical Association of Ireland, and published articles in the Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science.
A keen naturalist, together with J. D. Humphreys (c.1775–1864) and Thomas Power (fl. 1823–45), he compiled the first catalogue of the vertebrates of Co. Cork in Contributions towards a fauna and flora of the county of Cork (1845), which was read at the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Cork in 1843 and was published by the Cuvierian Society of Cork, of which Harvey was vice-president (1843), and president (1845). On his retirement in 1878, he presented his natural history collection to QCC; it included thirty-one specimens of marine algae, more than 350 specimens of native Irish wild birds (many of them extremely rare), a large collection of birds’ eggs, native mammals, and a framed parchment listing the species. He was a fellow and local secretary of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh and vice-president (1874) of the Royal Cork Institution.
On his retirement in 1878 he moved to Dublin to live with his son, and died on 26 November 1887. He married (7 September 1841) Elizabeth Todhunter; they had one child, Reuben Joshua Harvey (1845–81), physician, who was born 17 April 1845 in Cork. He was educated at Bootham Friends School, York, England, and entered TCD, graduated BA with gold medal (1866), MB (1870), MD (1873) and was admitted licentiate (1875), elected fellow (1879), and censor (1880) of the (R)K&QCPI. He lectured in anatomy and physiology at the Carmichael School of Medicine, and served as physician to the Cork Street Fever Hospital, Dublin, and the House of Industry Hospitals. A council member of several professional societies, he translated medical works from German into English, published papers in medical journals, and was elected (1874) MRIA. After his premature death from typhus, on 28 December 1881 at his home, 7 Upper Merrion St., Dublin, his friends established (1882) the triennial Reuben Harvey memorial prize; open to students of the Dublin schools of medicine and Irish licensing bodies, it was awarded for the best essay demonstrating original research in animal physiology (since 1964 it has instead been awarded to candidates with the highest aggregate marks in clinical subjects at final examinations). He married (1873) Mary Pim Hogg; they had two sons and two daughters.