Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,124 pages of information and 233,665 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Boulton and Fothergill

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c1770. Perfume Burner. Exhibit at Birmingham Museum.

1762-1782 Matthew Boulton and John Fothergill were in partnership producing 'toys' like buttons, buckles, sword hilts, silver and other plated ware, ormolu and clocks etc. They established the Soho Manufactory, two miles north of Birmingham. Boulton invested £6,000 and Fothergill £5,000. Here they undertook the manufacture of artistic objects in metal, such as his cut steel buttons, earlier marcasite imitations of diamonds, that were very popular in British society.

1774 Fothergill considered the business to be on the edge of bankruptcy, having made losses for many years.

1781 Boulton gave his partner notice that the partnership should cease on 31 December 1781; Fothergill died in the following year.

1782 When the partnership was dissolved, the new firms of M. Boulton and Boulton and Scale were formed

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