Search the Collections

Matthew Boulton (1728-1809), Industrialist and entrepreneur

Sitter in 14 portraits
Birmingham industrialist and entrepreneur, called 'the first manufacturer in England' by Josiah Wedgwood. He was the founder of the Soho Works in Birmingham in 1762, known for its high quality ornamental objects. In 1775 Boulton entered into partnership with the Scottish engineer James Watt who invented the steam engine; he supplied machinery for the new Mint on Tower Hill in 1805. Boulton also designed for the commercial art market, devising ormolu (gilt brass) mounts for the English potter Josiah Wedgwood's decorative wares. Both men belonged to the Lunar Society, a group of prominent Midlands men who developed ideas and techniques in science, manufacturing and transport.

ListThumbnail