|The Great Court at the British Museum. The quotation you can't see here: "and let thy feet, millenniums hence, be set in midst of knowledge" from the poem The Two Voices by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.|
Sir Hans Sloane was a physician in the late 1600s and early 1700s. He was a proponent of smallpox vaccination and counted among his patients Queen Anne and Kings George I and II .
He also was a collector of rare objects, accumulating more than 70,000 objects by the time he died at age 92 in 1743. That included 23,000 coins and medals, 50,000 books, prints and manuscripts, and 1,125 'things relating to the customs of ancient times' according to the British Museum. His house was popular among visitors because of all of these curiosities.
In his will, Sloane "sold" his entire collection to the nation for £20,000, to be paid to his heirs. Parliament accepted his offer and that collection became the British Museum.
However, that might not have been Sloane's greatest contribution. He also introduced Britain to milk chocolate. While working as a physician in Jamaica, Sloane tasted a local "chocolately" drink that he found a little too strong for his tastes. He sweetened it by adding milk and brought the recipe back with him, selling it as medicine. Later that recipe was used by the Cadbury brothers for their chocolate milk mix.