Sir Hans Sloane, Bt(1660-1753), Physician and collector
Sitter in 8 portraits
Born in Ireland, Sloane travelled to London and France to study medicine. Afterwards he went to Jamaica as a physician to the colony’s British governor. In Jamaica, he worked as a doctor on slave plantations and, with help from English planters and enslaved West Africans, he assembled a collection of plant and animal specimens and objects related to plantation life. After his return, he married Elizabeth Langley, the heiress to a large fortune from her father’s plantations in Jamaica. In 1727, Sloane became President of the Royal Society, a post he kept for fourteen years. His collection and library formed the nucleus of the British Museum.