Sir Hans Sloane


Portrait of Sir Hans Sloane
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Name:Sir Hans Sloane

Dates:1660 - 1753


Address: King’s Mead, King’s Road , SW3

Dates at address:1742 - 1753


Sir Hans Sloane was born and schooled in Killyleigh, then moved to London to study chemistry at the Apothecaries’ Hall and botany at their garden in Chelsea (later Chelsea Physic Garden). He married Elizabeth Langley in 1695 and had two daughters.

Qualifying as a physician, Sloane’s first client was the Governor of Jamaica. Arriving in Jamaica in 1685 he collected 800 species and conducted experiments later published in his study The Natural History of Jamaica. The Governor died in 1686 and Sloane returned home with his collection, except for an alligator that died, an iguana that jumped overboard and a snake that escaped and was shot. Back in London he enjoyed remarkable success. A member of the Royal Society, he became secretary in 1693 and replaced Sir Isaac Newton as president in 1727. Appointed physician to Queen Anne, George I, George II and physician-general to the army, he became the first doctor to be made a Baronet in 1716. He bequeathed his collection to the country in return for £20,000 to be paid to his two daughters. This formed the basis for the British Museum’s collection.

Sloane helped shape Chelsea. Educated here he chose to enrich the area by securing the future of the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1721. He retired here in 1742, dying at the Manor House in 1753. He made several bequests to the parish and left the rest to his two daughters. He is buried at Chelsea Old Church. Sloane Square and Sloane Street are named in his honour.

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