The treasure which Sloane bequeathed to his country and which is now purchased for it by the parliament may be attended with numberless advantages to the public.
Gavin de Beer
Hans Sloane and The British Museum (1953)
We might call the British Museum the brainchild of Sir Hans Sloane whose extensive collections were its foundation. Shortly after his death, the British House of Commons eventually agreed to purchase the collections and by 1759 the first museum of this name was opened at Montagu House not far from Sloane’s London home at Bloomsbury Place. It was an immediate success with the general public who had heard so much of Sir Hans that they were determined to visit.
The words of Gavin de Beer above surely epitomise this wonderful building and its founder.
These words would certainly have pleased that great son of Killyleagh, Hans Sloane.