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Series One: The Papers of Sir Hans Sloane, 1660-1753 from the British Library, London

Part 4: Alchemy, Chemistry and Magic

Sir Hans Sloane was the greatest collector in an age of great collectors.  His collection of alchemical manuscripts is especially rich, reflecting the continued interest in this field by leading scientists in the 18th century. Parts 3 & 4 feature over 200 manuscripts from his collection dating from the 13th to the 17th centuries and documenting proto-chemistry and early pharmaceutical research from c1900BC to c1600AD.  Part 4 features:

  • A 13th century manuscript containing the works of Rasis, or Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya Al-Razi (c825-c925), who was famed for his practical experiments and his development of drugs;
  • Alchemical works of Thomas Aquinas and Roger Bacon;
  • A 17th century 'Introduction to chemistry';
  • Numerous volumes containing the writings of Ramon Lull, or Doctor Illuminatus, and Arnald of Villanova, both active in Majorca;
  • Prophecies of Merlin and works on the Philosopher's Stone.

These only hint at the depth of this collection, which also includes works by Aegidus de Vadis, Albertus Magnus, Aristotle, Arnold of Poland, Avicenna, Robert Boyle, Thomas Charnock, Arthur Dee, R Dove, Nicholas Flamel, Geber, Gerard of Cremona, Hermes Trismegistus, Jehan de Meung, John de Rupecissa, Edward Kelley, Heinrich Khunrath, Nicolas Lemery, Thomas Norton, Paracelsus, Pearce the Black Monk, George Ripley, Rodericus de Majorcis, Sahl ibn Bashir, and King Saloman of Israel,



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