Born: August 15, 1740, Reinfeld (near Lübeck), Holstein, Germany.
Died: January 21, 1815, Hamburg, Germany.
Buried: Friedhof an der Wandsbeker Christuskirche, Wandsbek, Germany.
Claudius was the son of Matthias Claudius, Lutheran pastor at Reinfeld. An ancestor, a Lutheran pastor in who died in 1586, had Latinized his name, Claus Paulsen, to Claudius Pauli, and his descendants adopted Claudius as their surname.
Matthias entered the University of Jena in 1759 as a theology student, but being in ill health, and finding little interest in his studies, he turned instead to law and languages.
After a short visit to Copenhagen, he joined the Hamburg News Agency (Adress-Comptoirnachrichten) in 1768.
Moving to Wandsbeck, near Hamburg, he became in 1771 editor of the literary portion of the Wandsbecker Bote, and contributed a number of his poems to the Göttingen Musen-Almanach.
In 1776, he was appointed a Commissioner of Agriculture and Manufactures in Hessen-Darmstadt; in 1777 editor of the official Hessen-Darmstadt newspaper; and in 1788 the Crown Prince of Denmark made him auditor of the Schleswig-Holstein Bank at Altona.