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A Voyage To the Islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, S. Christophers And Jamaica, With The Natural History Of The Herbs and Trees, Four-footed Beasts, Fishes, Birds, Insects, Reptiles &c Of the last of those Islands: To which is prefix'd An Introduction, Wherein is an Account of the Inhabitants, Air, Waters, Diseases, Trade, &c of that Place, with some Relations concerning the Neighbouring Continent, and Islands of America. Illustrated With The Figures of the Things describ'd, which have not been heretofore engraved; In large Copper-Plates as big as the Life. By Hans Sloane, M.D. Fellow of the College of Physicians and Secretary of the Royal-Society. In Two Volumes. Vol. I. (II.) ...

Sir Hans Sloane

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: Printed by B.M. for the Author,, 1707.(-1725.)

Physical Description

2 vols.; 335 mm. (Folio).

General Note

Vol. I: [16], cliv, 264, [2] p., IV, 156 pl. (all dble., many fold.). The first plate is a map. - Vol. II: [4], xviii, 499, [1] p., pl. V-XI, 157-274 (all dble., many fold.).


Vol. I: [T.p., dedic.] - The Preface - The Introduction - [Plates I-IV] - [Text: A Voyage To Jamaica; The Natural History Of Jamaica] - Errors of the Press - [Plates 1-156]. - Vol. II: [T.p., dedic.] - The Introduction To The Second Volume - [Plates V-XI] - [Text: The Natural History Of Jamaica (cont'd.)] - Additions To The First (Second) Volume - The Contents Of The First (Second) Volume - The Index To Both Volumes - Errors of the Press - [Plates 157-274].

Responsibility Note

Most plates are unsigned, but several are signed as engraved by M. Van der Gucht or J. Savage.

The first volume is dedicated by the author to the Queen (Anne); the second, to the King (George I).


ESTC, T100752
K.D. Kriz, 'Curiosities, commodities, and transplanted bodies in Hans Sloane's "Natural history of Jamaica"', in William and Mary quarterly, 3rd. ser. 57, no. 1 (2000), p. 36-78
A. MacGregor, Sir Hans Sloane: Collector, scientist, antiquary, founding father of the British Museum (1994)
A. Potts, 'Natural order and the call of the wild', in Oxford A.J., XIII (1990), p. 12-33
O.R. Impey and A.G. MacGregor, ed., The origins of museums: the cabinet of curiosities in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe (1985)
C. Nissen, Die zoologische Buchillustration Geschichte (1978)
P.S. Dance, The art of natural history: animal illustrators (1978)

Summary Note

The imprint of the second volume reads, 'London: Printed for the Author. 1725.'

This account of the natural history of Jamaica is based on the collections which Sir Hans Sloane made there in 1687-1689, while physician to the Governor, the Duke of Albemarle. These collections afterwards became the nucleus of the holdings of the British Museum (and later of the Natural History and Geological Museums).

Most plates in Volume I show plants; those of Volume II show plants and animals.


A microfilm was made in 1986 (Woodbridge, CT: Research Publications Inc.) (The Eighteenth Century; reel 4873, no. 1.) Another was made in 1986 by the British Library (Neg. PB.Mic.23897-98; Pos. PB.Mic.C.6579-82). Sloane's Jamaican plant collections can be viewed on the Natural History Museum's website, www.nhm.ac.uk.


Acquired between 1769 and 1802. Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

Copy Note

In Volume I the front endpaper is inscribed in ink, 'Ex Dono Autoris Feb. 18- 1706/7.'; and there is marginal annotation in ink on p. 38.

Binding Note

18th-century calf, upper and lower covers of Volume I decorated with panels in gilt and in blind. Both volumes rebacked in 20th century retaining most of earlier spine-pieces; brown morocco spine-labels lettered 'Sloane Nat. Hist. Of Jamaica Vol. I. (II.) Great Pap. Lond. 1707. (1725.)'

Name as Subject


Natural History - Plants - Botany - Animals - Birds - Caribbean - Jamaica - Maps
British - Caribbean - Jamaica - Description and travel - History - 17th century - 18th century
Collections - Great Britain - London - History - 17th century - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century