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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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[fol. 158] Honor’d & dear Sr I recd your ler with a very particular pleasure because there in I flatterd my self, that I perceiv’d you had a favor for me, in a matter you will guess by the station I am now in. my living here is worth £200 pound. & I have lately a salary of £25 pound settler on me by the Bishop of Lincoln, as I am governor of an hospital at Stanford, by vertue of my living. & I have a further expectancy of a living in our neighborhood. but it will be some trouble & charge to vindicate the Bishops intended favor to me. which I should dave, as well as the time I could employ better: if you should please more plainly to encourage my hopes. & then I should think only of pushing my future fortunes, in a different quarter of the world. our common friend Mr Gale who well knows all my views, can explain this, if you please to ask him about it. All I have to say, in my own favour is, that no one in life ever had a greater respect for Sr Hans Sloan, than my self, or has upon all occasions more I endeavord to vindicate this honor, when I liv’d in town. & the doing it has cost me some friendships, which I never regretted. I could mention in particular, that it bred a great coolness in a neighbor of mine of Ormond Street. as I always espousd your interests cordially, so I shall be more engag’d to do it when you are my patron, & shall be more enabled to do it, when fixd nearer the Thames, for which I shall willingly enough change my present station, tho’ a very pleasant one. I should then be set more in the eye of the world, & could be then a constant member again of the R. Society, & should endeavor to be an useful one. I have some discourses which I wrote in town, with a view of sheltering them under your name. they are some considerable curiositys in Botany never yet taken notice of. I might then have opportunitys of improving them so as not to be unworthy of your patronage. I hope you will excuse the freedom I here take, in confidence of the long acquaintance I have had with you. no Would I have it thought, that i have done any dishonor to the profession of physick by taking another gown. the first founder of the College did the same, Dr. Linacre, I mean, & dyd a dignitary of the church. & one of my views in it, under direction of the Archbishop of Canterbury, was to combat the infidel spirit that prevails so much in this generation, for which I have made some preparation, & may perchance, doe it more effectually, when I cam to enter the lists, than some others have done, that were altogether bred up in Divinity studys. I heartily pray, dear Sr for your health & happyness, & for the prosperity of your family in all its branches, & am with great truth Dear Sr Your most obliged obedient servant Wm Stukeley Stanford 19 Dec. 1730. I drank your health yesterday at the Duke of Ancasters. the Dutchess & Marquisse of Lindsey are now under my care. I have some curiositys in my colletion, the few yet very remarkable, which I should think honor’d by being added to your invaluable Museum. & I have had some thoughts about that, which I should be glad to communicate, if you have not better settled it your self: so as to be a most noble monument of your fame & learning & industry &c. Pardon haste – I expect to be in town in February.
Read more- Letter 3853


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