Boulter’s Museum


Site of On former Leech’s building on west side of the Market Place. Early privately owned collection of curiosities.

Daniel Boulter was born in Worsted, Norfolk. In 1740, he bought a shop at 19 Market Place, Great Yarmouth. In 1777, he turned it into a goldsmith’s and jewellery shop. In 1778, he opened a museum somewhere behind the shop, which had over 5,000 specimens of natural history and antiquities, including foreign birds, insects, rare plants, ancient enamels, china, delft ware, ancient weapons of war, old monastic and other seals, watches, rings, amulets, English coins and medals, and rare old prints, including a large collection of engraved portraits, all of which had taken him some 20 years to amass. Local people, including Sir Astley Cooper, the eminent surgeon, made donations to the museum. In 1794, he sold his shop to his brother, Joseph, and his museum was taken over by his nephew, John. The shop was sold in 1802 and the contents of the museum were disposed of at auction. Daniel Boulter died in 1802 and was interred in the Friends’ Burial Ground in Great Yarmouth. A copper cupola, which could be viewed from the adjacent row, was demolished in 1927 by Mr. James Hogg. During the demolition work, a lead tablet was found, securely fastened to a block supporting the cupola, which stated that the cupola had been erected over the museum by J. Boulter. (The peace referred to on the tablet was the Treaty of Amiens, 27th March 1802, between England, France, Spain and Holland).

Boulter's Museum token