Later Life

At the age of 79, Sloane suffered from a disorder with some paralysis, from which he did not recover. He retired to his home in Chelsea in 1742, where he remained until his death in 1753. The house in Chelsea was filled with his collections of books and curiosities, an early museum which the learned and well-to-do (including the Prince and Princess of Wales) made appointments to visit. It became his growing intention that his collections should be made publicly available and the collection was to be offered for sale to the King, the Royal Society, or to other specified institutions. After George II declined, the trustees petitioned successfully parliament to purchase the collection for the good of the nation at the cost of £20,000, a sum which went to his daughters. The true cost of the collection was valued at upwards of £80,000.