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Fashionable area on a picturesque reach of the Thames. Sir Thomas More built his Tudor mansion here in 1523 and it later became the Duke of Beaufort's (it no longer exists); he detained suspected heretics here. Henry VIII acquired the manor of Chelsea the year after More's execution and Elizabeth I briefly lived in Chelsea. Chelsea Manor next passed to John Dudley, later Duke of Northumberland, whose attempt to make his daughter-in-law, Lady Jane Grey, next in succession to Edward IV ended in his, his son's , and her executions. Sir Hans Sloane (d. 1753) acquired Chelsea Manor in 1712 and later much of the rest of the district; his vast collections formed the basis of the British Museum's collections. The finest surviving building in Chelsea is the Royal Military Hospital on the site of a theological college founded by James I; in 1682, Charles II laid the foundation stone of the existing structure designed by Wren. Ranelagh Pleasure Gardens (opened 1742), famous for its entertainments in the 18th century, are now part of the hospital grounds; their central attraction for 60 years was a large wooden rotunda modeled on the Pantheon in Rome.
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