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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 7: Matthew Boulton Correspondence (Subject Material and Individual Correspondents including Garbett, Rennie, Southern & Wilkinson)

This material comprises correspondence between Matthew Boulton and key figures such as:

  • Samuel Garbett (Chairman of the Birmingham Commercial Committee).
  • Logan Henderson (Engine erector and the first technical assistant engaged by Boulton and Watt).
  • James Lawson (Engine erector employed by Boulton and Watt).
  • Mrs Charlotte Matthews (Wife of Matthew Boulton’s main London agent).
  • John Rennie (Civil engineer, agent and millwright who worked for Boulton and Watt from 1784 to 1820).
  • John Scale (Partner in the Soho Manufactory).
  • John Southern (Draughtsman and Manager of the Soho Foundry).
  • Sir Zaccheus Walker (A senior Boulton and Watt employee - referred to as the 'Principal Clerk').
  • John Wilkinson (Ironmaster at Bersham, Broseley and Bradley).
  • William Wilkinson (Iron master and close friend of M R Boulton and
    James Watt junior).
  • Thomas Wilson (Engine erector and agent in Cornwall).
  • Samuel Wyatt (Architect, involved with work on Soho House, Heathfield Hall and Albion Mill).

"These papers provide a unique opportunity to study numerous facets of late 18th century industry and industrial society. It is not only the scale and relative completeness of the archive that makes it outstanding but the fact that, by virtue of their stature, Boulton and Watt corresponded with very many of the major figures in late 18th century scientific and industrial society both in Britain and overseas. These papers are a unique source for studies of steam power."
Professor Jennifer Tann, Consultant Editor,
School of Continuing Studies, University of Birmingham.



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