Fraudster, freemason, geologist and author of "Singular travels, campaigns and adventures of Baron Munchausen"
Raspe fled from his creditors in Prussia, following a dishonourable career in science, punctuated by embezzlement and fraud. He came to England, where he was befriended by Matthew Boulton, one of the founder members of the Birmingham Lunar Society. Boulton had just industrialised Birmingham and had turned his attention to the Cornish tin industry. Raspe was put in charge of modernising the mines, and so he was able to disappear for a few years. During this time, he probably wrote the stories of Baron Munchausen. This may explain the Cornish tin miners slang used in the book (e.g. "five fathoms under grass")