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


Fol. 206
Dear Sr Upmr Nov: 10 1710
5 of clock
This comes to return you ten 1000 thanks
for your kind directions in my Wifes very
dangerous case, wch yesterday in the afternoon
had like to have carried her off, her pulse being
little more than a remor, feavr high, flesh
convulsed, & her hands shaking; & all about
4 or 5 hours after a fifth time of bleeding, the
first of her blood fizy, the last not so bad.
But after somewhat more than ordinary dis-
course with me, & concern in taking leave
of each other, she on a suddain seemed to have
some speedy relief whether by that Ventila[ti]on
of her Lungs, or some motion of the affects
parts, &c I leave to your better judgment: &
last night she had much ease & kindly sleep
so yt this morning she seems to be in a likely way
of recovery I hope. I suppose it will be absolutely
necessary to endeavour the prevention of a consump-
tion succeeding so terrible a shock of her Lungs, wch
I desire your directions about. She is brought to
almost the lowest degree of weakness.
Your affairs at Orset you may cast on my
care. A Survey will be of absolute necessity for you, & I know one
at Rumford yt will be the best man to be employed therein, as not
only understanding surveying Land well, but also Timber &c. As I
rememr the usual rates are 6d p acre, viz 3d for surveying & 3d
plotting it down: if a small parcel of Land 8d they will ask; or
if much Timber to be particularly noted, they will expect ac-
cordingly. As soon as I can get to Rumford, I will talk wth the
surveyour about all things, & give tou an account, yt you may
either pitch upon him, or one in town. The Gates & Stiles shall
be as well taken care of as by your self, when I am able
to do it; & with great thankfulness I shall allways acknow-
lidge my self
Dear Sr Your much obliged humble servt
W Derham
Since my writing this, my wife is
sized wth a violent Looseness, accompanied
wth acute gripings. For want of yr better directions I give her ye White
Decoction wth Formentil root boyled in it, & now & then a Cordial
of Spiremint watr, Aq: Cin: fat: &c.

Read more- Letter 1708

Latest Statistics

Pages digitised
4,545 Document summaries
Documents transcribed
1,527 Medical Cases


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