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Matthew Boulton was a pioneer in manufacturing, he was far from wealthy; his father was a toy maker at the time of his birth. Matthew attended a local school and upon leaving; he joined his father’s business. At the age of 21yrs Matthew married Mary Robinson the daughter of a wealthy Mercer (Mercer; a silk, linen and fustian textile merchant). Eventually he took charge of his father’s business (1757) When his father died, he later gained interest in precious metals; leaving behind the toy trade altogether. With a new trade under his belt Matthew then travelled throughout the United Kingdom, selling his goods wherever he could. After a short period of time he negotiated with a highly regarded friend to present a sword to Prince Edward as a gift, however it was Prince Edward’s older brother; Prince George III, the heir to the throne of England and later the King of England; that was truly interested in the gift.

bwpic2In 1761 after using the majority of his wealth which had accumulated from his two marriages, and the inheritance he received from his father, he bought a larger property for his growing business. He purchased Soho House a very large premise in Staffordshire, West Midlands. He began production at Soho and introduced modern production methods as well as a “pioneering insurance scheme” for his workers. He soon became widely known for his perfectionist characteristics as well as his much technological advancement within manufacturing processes. Soho House soon became a must see to the rich and powerful and he regularly had people of royal stature coming to stay with him so they could see and learn more about his work and techniques. Later in life Matthew became infatuated with science and astronomy, and became well known for his work. He was also named as the Sheriff of Staffordshire before his death in 1809. By the time he died Matthew had become one of the wealthiest and most pioneering manufacturers and entrepreneurs in the UK.

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