- Thomas Boulsover
Thomas Boulsover (1705—
September 9, 1788), Sheffield cutlerand the inventor of Sheffield Plate, was born in what is now the Ecclesfielddistrict of the city and died at his home at Whiteley Wood Hall, on the River Porter.
Boulsover completed his apprenticeship as a cutler in 1726 and, around 1740 set up his own workshop on the corner of Tudor Street and Surrey Street in Sheffield's city centre. It was at these premises that, in 1743, he discovered (by accident it is said, while repairing the handle of a knife) that
silvercould be relatively easily fused onto copperand that the resulting "sandwich" could be fabricated effectively, by hammering and rolling, as one material while maintaining the outer appearance of pure silver. This material became known as Sheffield Plate and Boulsover, in partnership with fellow Sheffielder Joseph Wilson, began to manufacture buttons, buckles, spurs and small boxes of the material. The business was funded by Strelley Pegge of Beauchiefwho later sold Boulsover Whiteley Wood Hallin 1757. [http://www.tilthammer.com/bio/boul.html] Josiah Hancock, one of Boulsover's apprentices, subsequently also began to make artistic pieces, especialmente dishes and trays and holloware such as coffee-pots.
Thomas' wife Hannah died in 1772 and was buried in St Paul's Church Sheffield.
Thomas died on Tuesday 9th September 1788 and was buried alongside his wife. [http://www.tilthammer.com/bio/boul.html]
There are two monuments in Sheffield erected in memory of Thomas Boulsover, one in Whiteley Woods on the hillside between Wire Mill Dam and Porter Brook, and the other in Tudor Square, in the city centre.
* [http://www.tilthammer.com/bio/boul.html Biography at the Tilthammer site]
* [http://public-art.shu.ac.uk/sheffield/unk287.html Sheffield Hallam University's "Public Art in Sheffield"]
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