Home Site Map Bicentennial Soho Library The Town The Lunar Society The Man The Mint The Coins The Tokens The Medals So Nearly Soho! Links & Resources Oh, No!
What? & Where?
Search the website for
what you’ve always
wanted:

Soho Mint - A World First!

Reverse of the ‘Powers of Soho Mint’ Medallion

designed to refute the claims by Jean-Pierre Droz that the

performance of Soho Mint was a result of his inventions

Soho’s Coinage - A Striking Achievement

By 1802, Matthew Boulton was becoming seriously concerned that credit for the powers of the Soho Mint was being attributed to his discharged engraver and mechanic Jean-Pierre Droz - with the assumption that it was Droz himself, now resident at the French Mint in Paris, who was the source of the stories. So Boulton commissioned his own response, in the form of a medal, which was to have been published ‘all over the world’ and which set out exactly what the Soho Mint was capable of. Perhaps significantly, the description on the medal was in French. It reads:

 

(400) M: BOULTON ERIGEA A SOHO ANGL: 1788 UNE MACH: A VAPEUR PR: FRAP: MONN: (480) 1798. IL ER: UNE BIEN SUPERIEURE A 8. BALANCIERS NOUVEAUX. (560) CES CERC: & CHIF: MARQ: LE DIAM: & NO: DE PIECES FRAP: P: MIN: (640) P: 8 ENFANS SANS FATIG: DU PL: PET: OU PL: GR: VOLUME. (720) OU DE 8. DIFF: GRAND: ENSEMBLE. ON PEUT (800) AUGM: L’EFF: AU DEG: NECESS: (920)

 

Which translates as: Matthew Boulton erected at Soho, England, in 1788, a steam powered machine to strike coins. In 1798 he set up a much better one with eight new presses. These circles and numbers indicate the diameter and number of pieces struck per minute by eight children without fatigue, of the smallest or greatest volume. With 8 combinations one can increase efficiency to the necessary degree.

 

The numbers indicate the number of coins, of that diameter, which the eight presses of the Soho Mint could strike per minute in total.

 

While the medal had been prepared during the rather surreal period following the Peace of Amiens in October 1801, and was intended for distribution in France, the renewal of the war in 1803 rendered the whole project pointless, but left us with a fascinating insight into Boulton’s thinking.

McKivor

Click

On Offer

From this page, we have divided up ‘The Coins’ into three separate sections. The first of these ‘Coins Great Britain’ deals with the Soho copper coinages of 1797, 1799, 1806/7 and the Bank of England Dollars of 1804-11.

The second section ‘Coins Ireland’ deals with the exemplary coppers of 1805-6. In time, it will also include the Isle of Man pieces of 1798 and 1813 - appropriately as many of the Isle of Man pieces apparently found their way to Ireland in trade.

The third section is ‘Coins World’ and basically includes everything apart from the above!

Coins Great Britain Coins Ireland Coins World
From this page..
To visit any of our ‘Coin’
sections, let your cursor
hover to see the pages
within each section, then
click on your choice of 
page to go straight there