Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Soho depicted: prints, drawings and watercolours of Matthew Boulton, his manufactory and estate, 1760-1809

By Valerie Ann Loggie


This thesis explores the ways in which the industrialist Matthew Boulton (1728-1809) used images of his manufactory and of himself to help develop what would now be considered a ‘brand’. The argument draws heavily on archival research into the commissioning process, authorship and reception of these depictions. Such information is rarely available when studying prints and allows consideration of these images in a new light but also contributes to a wider debate on British eighteenth-century print culture. The first chapter argues that Boulton used images to convey messages about the output of his businesses, to draw together a diverse range of products and associate them with one site. Chapter two explores the setting of the manufactory and the surrounding estate, outlining Boulton’s motivation for creating the parkland and considering the ways in which it was depicted. The third chapter looks at a period of reinforcement of the identity of Soho, exploring the ways in which images were placed and altered in order to convey specific messages to particular audiences. Chapter four examines printed portraits of Boulton and argues that images of Boulton himself also came to stand for his factory and his products

Topics: ND Painting, TS Manufactures, HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform, NC Drawing Design Illustration, NE Print media, DA Great Britain
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. Burials 1813-8. COLLECTANEA DELINEATIONUM VARIARUM JOHANNE PHILLP INVENTARUM, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) Album of engravings by Francis Eginton junior,
  2. Fothergill’s diary, 1793, private collection.
  3. (2006). Barbara Fogarty, Report on Mechanical Painting Workshop held at
  4. (2010). Matthew Boulton and Francis Eginton’s Mechanical Paintings: Production and Consumption 1777 to 1781, MPhil thesis,
  5. MS 87716 Album of drawings and sketches by Joseph Barber and Joseph Vincent Barber 1803-08. MS 416691 Album of drawings and sketches by Barber family. DR034/35 St Phillips Parish Registers.
  6. (1992). Office PROB 11/1866 1833, will of Amelia Alston PROB 11/1548 1813, will of George Holbrook. Unpublished sources Phillada Ballard, Soho House Gardens 1761-1809; Report for the Heritage Development Department Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery,
  7. (2005). The Architectural Heritage of Muncaster Castle: Phase One Research Report,
  8. (1935). The Financial History of Matthew Boulton 1759-1800, Master of Commerce thesis,
  9. (1988). The Mechanical Paintings of Boulton and Eginton, paper given at Image Multiplied Symposium,
  10. (2002). The Soho Foundry, Smethwick, West Midlands: A Documentary and Archaeological Study, Report for Sandwell Borough Council and HLF,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.