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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Sir Hans Sloane, Bt (1660-1753), Physician and collector

Collector and physician; born in co. Down, Ireland; MD University of Orange (near Avignon), 1683; member of the College of Physicians and physician to the governor of Jamaica, 1687, returning after the latter's death, 1689, with a major collection of plant and animal specimens; a secretary of the Royal Society, 1693-1712, he revived the Philosophical Transactions; published, 1696, his Catalogue of the plants of Jamaica and, 1701, Voyage to Islands of Madera, Barbadoes, Nieves, St. Christopher's and Jamaica (vol. II, 1725); physician to Queen Anne, 1712; physician-general to the Army and created baronet, 1716; president of the Royal College of Physicians, 1719, and the Royal Society, 1727-41; bequeathed the Chelsea Physic Garden to the Apothecaries Society; his vast collection of books, MS, prints, coins etc. became the nucleus of the British Museum. [1]
Described, 1683, when he received his Doctor of Physics degree, University of Orange, as, 'Of medium height, hair very short, light chestnut, face rather long and grave, marked with the small pox, aged 21 [recte] 23 years'. [2]

Footnotesback to top

1) G. R. de Beer, Sir Hans Sloane and the British Museum, 1953, pp 13ff.; The Royal College of Physicians of London Portraits, ed. G. Wolstenholme and D. Piper, 1964, pp 390-91.
2) G. R. de Beer, Sir Hans Sloane and the British Museum, 1953, p 20; the degree of Doctor of Medicine translated in English as Doctor of Physic.

Referencesback to top

De Beer 1953
G. R. de Beer, Sir Hans Sloane and the British Museum, 1953.

Fawcett Thompson and Gordon Roe 1961
J. R. Fawcett Thompson and F. Gordon Roe, 'Some Oil Portraits in the British Museum', Connoisseur, CXLVII, 1961.

Wolstenholme and Piper (eds.) 1964
The Royal College of Physicians of London Portraits, ed. G. Wolstenholme and D. Piper, 1964.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.