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THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Series One: The Papers of Sir Hans Sloane, 1660-1753 from the British Library, London
Part 1: Science & Society, 1660-1773

Sir Hans Sloane was a leading figure in the international scientific community in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

  • He studied in Paris and Montpellier under the tuition of Pierre Magnol and Joseph de Tournefort; he meets Nicolas Lemery and William Courten;
  • He travelled to Jamaica and the Caribbean and was encouraged by his friend John Ray to carry out extensive field work in natural history;
  • He succeeded Sir Isaac Newton as the President of the Royal Society and held that post for fifteen years from 1727 to 1741;
  • He was President of the Royal College of Physicians from 1719 to 1735;
  • He was private physician to  Queen Anne and King George II;
  • He founded the Botanical Garden in Chelsea in 1721; 
  • He was the greatest collector in an age of great collectors and his collections helped form the foundations of the British Museum and the British Library.

Part 1 makes available his correspondence, which illuminates all of these activities.  There are letters from: John Aubrey, Erik Benzelius, Abbé Jean-Paul Bignon (Librarian to Louis XV), Herman Boerhaave, Gideon Bonnivert, William Byrd (of Virginia), the Earl of Chesterfield, Pierre Desmaizeaux, John Evelyn, John Flamsteed, de Fontenelle, Benjamin Franklin, Etienne Geoffroy, Edmond Halley, James Keill, Jean Lavater, Gottfried Leibnitz, Carl Linnaeus, John Locke,  Isaac Newton, Alexander Orme, Samuel Pepys,  Alexander Pope, John Ray Johann Steigerthal,  Harman Verelst,  Horace Walpole, Robert Walpole, and Theodor Zwinger.

"his network of correspondents helped to collect and publicize science."
Maarten Ultee,
The British Library Journal, Vol 14, No 1



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