Protecting the Consumer and Servicing
the Trade with Independence and Integrity

Members of Birmingham’s prestigious Lunar Society visited the Assay Office in December for their annual Winter Social event. Over 40 members enjoyed a talk from Sally Hoban, Heritage & Training Officer, about the history and heritage of the Assay Office followed by a tour of the silver collection and library led by Sally and Craig O’Donnell, the Assay Office’s Curator. Sally is a member of the Lunar Society and said: ‘The Assay Office has a strong link to the Lunar Society through our founder Matthew Boulton and we are very proud of this heritage. Boulton was a member of the original 18th century Lunar Society, a group of friends who met by the light of the full moon at each other’s houses (hence the name) between around 1765 and 1800. As well as Boulton, members included the potter Josiah Wedgwood, the steam engineer James Watt, the doctor William Small, the chemist and radical dissenter Joseph Priestley, and the doctor, poet and inventor Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles Darwin. The Lunar Men were driven by innovation and experiment and it’s no exaggeration to say that the ideas of Birmingham’s Lunar Society helped give us the modern world that we have today.’ The modern day Lunar Society has several hundred members drawn from leading practitioners from all walks of life in Birmingham and the wider region. Like its illustrious 18th century predecessor, the Society provides a lively forum for its membership to influence change through stimulating ideas, broadening debate and catalysing action. You can find out more information about the work of the Society at



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