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Archives of Soho Document of the Month - September 09

Letter to Boultons second wife Ann from Cornwall

Birthday Greetings to Mr Boulton!

September is the month for the anniversary of Boulton’s birth. He was born on 3 September 1728 (14 September New Style)* behind his father’s workshop in Snow Hill abutting Slaney Street, and was baptized at St. Philip’s church on 18 September 1728. On his birthday in 1780 he wrote to his second wife Ann from Cornwall:

So sure as there are 1728 Inches in a Cubic foot so sure was I born in that Year & so sure as there are 52 Weeks in the Year or , what you will better remember, so sure as there are 52 Cards in a pack, So sure am I 52 Years old this very day. And yet I fear you think so little of me that you will neither have a plumb pudding for your dinner, nor drink my good health. I shall not forget the same day in Nov[embe]r next for I find a great deal of Old Derby about me, at least that part of his Character that I am ever uneasy asunder from my Joan. Well the older we grow the better friends I hope we shall be, & though Time has a spite against Cupids Wings yet Friendship never comes to Maturity unless it hath been long nursed & cherished by old Time.

*After the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1752, whereby the days 3 – 13 September were omitted, people born on those days before the change kept their birthdays 11 days later than the original date of birth. Thus, after 1752, Boulton kept his birthday on 14 September.

Document ref: MS 3782/16/1/90