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INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY
Series One: The Boulton & Watt Archive and the Matthew Boulton Papers from Birmingham Central Library

Part 10: Matthew Boulton Correspondence (Incoming Letters, A-J)

In Part 10 of this microfilm project we cover 23 boxes of Matthew Boulton's

(1728-1809) incoming correspondence (A-J). The bulk of these letters cover the period c.1750-1809. The material is organised alphabetically by correspondent.

Correspondents include a wide range of Matthew Boulton's business contacts, scientists and inventors, politicians, diplomats, agents and those involved in the arts, local affairs and philanthropic activities. The material reveals a vast network of contacts encompassing not only England, Scotland and Wales, but also America, Continental Europe, Russia, India and the West Indies. Examples include:

  • Alexander Aubert (astronomer).
  • Sir John Barton (Clerk to the Board of Trade and Foreign Plantations).
  • John Baskerville (printer and japanner, Birmingham).
  • Dr Joseph Black (chemist and physician, Edinburgh).
  • Richard Brown & Son (sculptors and marble masons, Derby).
  • Isaac Hawkins Browne, the younger (essayist and MP for Bridgnorth, of Badger Hall, Salop).
  • Thomas Byerley (of London, nephew and partner of Josiah Wedgwood).
  • Letters from Carron Company Ironworks (Stirlingshire, Scotland)
  • Count Cavalli (of Italy).
  • William Chapman (Engineer).
  • John Sebastian Clais (Mining Engineer from Prussia).
  • Francis Cobb (Banker and Receiver General for Staffordshire).
  • Cornelius Dixon (decorator and scene painter, London).
  • W F Elphinstone (of the India Office, London).
  • John Flaxman (of London, sculptor and draughtsman).
  • Joseph Gibbins (Secretary to the Rose Copper Company).
  • John Gilbert (of Worsley, agent to the Duke of Bridgwater).
  • Lord Hawkesbury (industrialist, landowner and politician).
  • William Henderson (Secretary to the British Linen Company, Edinburgh).
  • W H Herrisse (of London, with memoranda and notes relating to coinage).
  • Benjamin Huntsman (of Sheffield, Yorkshire, inventor of cast steel).
  • Nathaniel Jefferys (of Pall Mall, London, jeweller and silversmith).
Matthew Boulton was at the center of eighteenth century life, pushing back boundaries in both business and science. His sphere of influence extended beyond the Industrial Revolution, encompassing many fields including Britain's expanding empire, her navy and military and the world of diplomacy and letters. These letters are a rich source for these many interests and should appeal to all social, cultural and economic historians of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Matthew Boulton

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