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Biography for Matthew Boulton

Born:1728 - Snow Hill, Birmingham, England
Died:1809 - Handsworth, Birmingham, England


His formal but patchy education was undertaken at the academy of Reverend John Hausted who served as chaplain of St John's Chapel in Deritend, Birmingham. His spelling remained mediocre throughout his life but his grasp of science and mathematics was strong added to which he had a good knowledge of the French language.


The Lunar Society, a group of friends who met once a month at the full moon and often at Soho House, to discuss mainly scientific and technical matters of common interest. The full moon enabled members who had travelled from as far afield as Lichfield and Stourbridge to get home safely. Some of the other members included Erazmus Darwin, Joseph Priestley and Josiah Wedgwood.


First entered into partnership with his father in 1749, at the age of twenty one, manufacturing small metal goods known as 'toys'. Matthew Boulton then became a prolific manufacturer in his own right of metalware, coins, medals, and silverware at the Soho Manufactury and Mint, Handsworth. The business partner of James Watt the famous Scottish industrialist, he also acted as Sherrif of Warwickshire on occasion and was a well-known reformer of the eighteenth century.

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