Hans Sloane bigraphy, stories - Irish botanist and doctor

Hans Sloane : biography

16 April 1660 - 11 January 1753

Sir Hans Sloane, 1st Baronet, PRS (16 April 1660 – 11 January 1753) was an Irish physician and collector, notable for bequeathing his collection to the nation, thus providing the foundation of the British Museum. He gave his name to Sloane Square in London and also to Sir Hans Sloane Square in his birthplace, Killyleagh.


Early life

Sloane was born on 16 April 1660 at Killyleagh in County Down, Ireland. He was the seventh son of Alexander Sloane (d. 1666), agent for James Hamilton, second Viscount Claneboye and later first Earl of Clanbrassil. Sloane's family had migrated from Scotland, but settled in the north of Ireland under James I. His father died when he was six years old. Hans Sloane's brother, William, purchased South Stoneham House near Southampton in 1740.

As a youth, Sloane collected objects of natural history and other curiosities. This led him to the study of medicine, which he went to London to pursue, directing his attention to botany, materia medica, and pharmacy. His collecting habits made him useful to John Ray and Robert Boyle. After four years in London he travelled through France, spending some time at Paris and Montpellier, and stayed long enough at the University of Orange-Nassau to take his M.D. degree there in 1683. He returned to London with a considerable collection of plants and other curiosities, of which the former were sent to Ray and utilized by him for his History of Plants.

Sloane was quickly elected to the Royal Society, and at the same time he attracted the notice of Thomas Sydenham, who gave him valuable introductions to practice. In 1687, he became a fellow of the College of Physicians, and the same year went to Jamaica as physician in the suite of the new Governor of Jamaica, the Duke of Albemarle. However, Albemarle died in Jamaica the next year, so that Sloane's visit lasted only fifteen months; during that time he noted about 800 new species of plants, the island being virgin ground to the botanist. Of these he published an elaborate catalogue in Latin in 1696; and at a later date (1707–1725) he made the experiences of his visit the subject of two folio volumes.

He became secretary to the Royal Society in 1693, and edited the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society for twenty years.

Sloane married Elisabeth Langley, who was the widow of Fulke Rose of Jamaica, and daughter of alderman John Langley. They had three daughters Mary, Sarah and Elizabeth.1695 – 20 May 1768 They also had one son, Hans. Of the four children only Sarah and Elizabeth survived infancy. Sarah married George Stanley of Paultons and Elizabeth the future Second Baron Cadogan.Sir Hans Sloane. The great collector and his circle, Eric St. John Brooks and Hans Sloane, 1954

Chocolate beverage

Sloane encountered cocoa while he was in Jamaica, where the locals drank it mixed with water, and he is reported to have found it nauseating. However, he devised a means of mixing it with milk to make it more pleasant. When he returned to England, he brought his chocolate recipe back with him. Initially, it was manufactured and sold by apothecaries as a medicine; though, by the nineteenth century, the Cadbury Brothers sold tins of Sloane's drinking chocolate.


His practice as a physician among the upper classes was large, fashionable and lucrative. He served three successive sovereigns, Queen Anne, George I and George II. In the pamphlets written concerning the sale by Dr William Cockburn (1669–1739) of his secret remedy for dysentery and other fluxes, it was stated for the defence that Sloane himself did not disdain the same kind of professional conduct; and some colour is given to that charge by the fact that his only medical publication, an Account of a Medicine for Soreness, Weakness and other Distempers of the Eyes (London, 1745) was not given to the world until its author was in his eighty-fifth year and had retired from practice.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine