Sir Hans Sloane

The One-Man Botanical Repository

April 16, 1660
Today is the birthday of the Irish physician, naturalist, and collector Sir Hans Sloane.

Hans bequeathed his collection of 71,000 items to the British nation, establishing the British Museum, the British Library, and the Natural History Museum, London.

How was Hans's collection so large?

First, Hans lived into his 90’s and outlived many of his collecting friends.

Second, when his friends passed away, they gave Hans Sloane their herbariums and other materials.

Over his long life, Hans became a one-person repository for all horticultural knowledge.

There are many botanical birthdays today. Perhaps Hans Sloane has blessed this day.

And here's a fun fact: Hans Sloane is credited with adding milk to cacao to make a new drink: Chocolate Milk.

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Sir Hans Sloane by Stephen Slaughter 1736
Sir Hans Sloane by Stephen Slaughter 1736
Leaflet featuring Sir Hans Sloane
Leaflet featuring Sir Hans Sloane

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