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Matthew Boulton Celebrated on New 50 Note

Matthew Boulton Celebrated on New 50 Note

10th October 2011

A new style £50 note will celebrate the renowned 18th century partnership of entrepreneur Matthew Boulton and engineer James Watt. The note will go into circulation on November 2nd.

Matthew Boulton (1728-1809) is one of the most important historic figures associated with the city of Birmingham. He was born in Birmingham in September 1728, the son of a buckle-, button- and ‘toy’-maker.

During his lifetime Boulton was a world-famous figure, but since the twentieth century his name has been somewhat overshadowed by that of his business partner, James Watt. But without Boulton’s entrepreneurial vision, drive and ambition it is unlikely that Watt would have fulfilled his potential as an engineer and inventor.

Boulton’s work as well as Watt’s pushed the technological boundaries of his time and led directly to Britain occupying centre-stage as the world’s first industrial nation, something which has shaped our lives ever since. It is fitting that James Watt will appear alongside Matthew Boulton, partners and pioneers in the industrial revolution, on the new £50 note.

Find out more about Matthew Boulton at Birmingham community museum Soho House the elegant home of the industrialist and enterpreneur from 1766 to 1809. Carefully restored, this fashionable Georgian house features period room interiors with fine collections of ormolu, silver, furniture and paintings.

Soho House closes for the winter season on October 30th but there will be opportunities to have winter tours on special days throughout the closed period. 

The first winter tour will take place 11am - 12.30pm on 3rd November, the day after the £50 note comes into circulation. Charge £6 per person. 

Portrait of Matthew Boulton by Charles Frederick von Breda


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