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Welcome to The Sloane Letters Project

sloaneA pilot of this project, Sir Hans Sloane’s Correspondence Online, was first launched at the University of Saskatchewan in 2010 to coincide with the 350th anniversary of Sir Hans Sloane’s birth. The project was renamed The Sloane Letters Project when it moved to this site in 2016.

The correspondence of Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) consists of thirty-eight volumes held at the British Library, London: MSS 4036-4069, 4075-4078.  The letters are a rich source of information about topics such as scientific discourse, collections of antiquities, curiosities and books, patients’ illnesses, medical treatments and family history. Most of the letters were addressed to Sloane, but a few volumes were addressed to others (MSS 4063-4067) or written by Sloane (MSS 4068-4069).

So far, we have entered descriptions and metadata for Sloane MSS 4036-4053 and 4075, as well as several letters from each of the following: Sloane MSS 4054-4055, 4066, 4068-4069 and 4076. Several of these entries also include transcriptions. Further entries and transcriptions are being made available gradually.

Please, explore the website and database. You can search through the letters, learn about Sir Hans Sloane or the letters written to him, and peruse blog posts about interesting letters!

Random Letter

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Recipient:

[fol. 232] Worthy & dear Sr The real pleasure I always took in the business of my profession, was one cause of my quitting London because I could not meet with it there in such manner & measure & upon such terms as were agreeable to my humor. The passionate love I ever had for the country, where true happiness only is to be met with, & the very agreeable situation I am now in, engages me absolutely to abandon any thoughts of returning thither, therefore I have been casting about in my mind to lay a scheme for such sort of business as my best reward me, & encourage my pains in being useful to the world in practise. I have at present a prospect of being chiefly concernd in the best familys. The Duke of Rutland is not yet engag’d to any physician, & I beg of you as I perceive you now & then write to him, to take an opportunity to put in a word for me, which I apprehend will no way interfere with your correspondence. my brother is at present his apothecary. At the Dukes seat lately, in an old stable which was the chappel of the Monastery, they dug up a considerabl piece of Antiquity, the coffin of the founder of the family, the castle & the monastery, & I wish you would desire of the duke to have it preserved some way or other, for tis wholly expos’d. the inscription on the top stone is this. Robert de Todenei le fundeur. his bones lye in the stone trough underneath. he was one of Wm the Conqrs concomitants. there are other such stones on both sides, but not yet uncovered. I am just preparing my instruments for observation of the weather & quantity of rain &c. I shall send you my [v. 23] memoirs of them, when ready. I wrote to Dr West to know how I must ward off a foolish pretence they have got here of sessing me to the Tax for my office as they call it, meaning my practise. but I have not yet had his answer. & I would not suffer the profession to loose of its priviledges thro my neglect. I am Sr with wishes of your health Your most obedient humble servant Wm Stukeley Grantham Dec. 6. 1726.
Read more- Letter 3307


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