"Henry Whitney, b. at 25 Pearl St., New York, 23 Aug. 1812; was graduated at Yale College in 1830, and settled in New Haven, Conn., in 1837, where he continued to reside until his death, living for a year in "Maple Cottage", Trumbull Street, until the fine mansion which he built for himself on Whitney Avenue (now occupied by his son Stephen) was completed; married, 27 Jan. 1835, by Rev. Dr. Lyell, at the residence of her parents, 498 Broadway, N. Y., to Hannah Eugenia Lawrence, born in New York, 27 Jan. 1815, dau. of Isaac Lawrence and his wife Anna, dau. of Rev. Abraham Beach, D. D., minister of Trinity Church, New York. She died, 16 March 1844, in New Haven, and was buried in the New Haven Cemetery. He married (2d), 25 July 1850, at Norwich, Conn., Maria Lucy Fitch; and died in New Haven, 21 March 1856, and was buried in the New Haven Cemetery. . . . . She married (2d), 20 Nov. 1862, at New York, Nathan Adolphus Baldwin, of Milford, Conn., where they resided in June 1877. They have one child, Natalie Augusta Baldwin, born at Milford, 26 Dec. 1864."

"The History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut 1642-1880" by Samuel Orcut t and Ambrose Beardsley, M.D. 1880 p779 "Stephen..was a merchant in New York city..He died Fe b 16, 1860; buried in Greenwood, of which cemetery he was one of the original incorporators , and a director through his life. He went to New York when 18 or 20 years of age, having had only ordinary advantages at Derby, and engaged himself as clerk to the firm of Lawrence and Whitney, shippers, in which his brother Henry was a partner. By energy and business talent he soon acquired means to enter copartnership with John Currie, a Scotchman, in the wholesale grocery trade. He traded largely in wines, then in cotton, then engaged in ship-building and the shipping trade to nearly all parts of the world; then in canals and railroads, and finally in banks, accumulating great wealth."

He set himself in business as a liquor retailer and later wholesaler in 1805 at Nr 4 Stone Street, New York. Stephen Whitney's fortune grew heavily thanks to some large and fortunate speculations in cotton. In the 1830's he was among New York's richest men. His fortune was doubled by shrewd investments in city real estate. Second in wealth to John Jacob Astor, Whitney's fortune was estimated between 5-10'000'000 dollars at its height.


Webster Family Genealogy    Yorkshire Roots; Inventors and More...





Contact Beth Northrop
ejnorth123 AT juno.com

Boston, Lincolnshire



Boston (Listeni/ˈbɒstən/ ) is a town and small port in Lincolnshire, on the east coast of England. It is the largest town of the widerBorough of Boston local government district. The borough had a total population of 64,600 at the 2011 census,[1] whilst the town itself had a population of 35,124 at the 2001 census.[2] It is due north of Greenwich on the Prime Meridian.

Boston's most notable landmark is St Botolph's Church (The Stump), the largest parish church in England[3] with one of the highest towers in England[4] visible in the flat lands of Lincolnshire for miles. Residents of Boston are known as Bostonians. Emigrants from Boston named several other settlements after the town, most notably BostonMassachusetts, in the United States.





The name Boston is said to be a contraction of St Botolph's town or of St Botolph's stone. However, fewer people now believe the story, still current, that a settlement in Boston dates from AD 654, when a Saxon monk, named Botolph, established a monastery on the banks of the River Witham. One reason for doubting this is that, in 654, the Witham did not flow near the site of Boston. (The early medieval geography of The Fens was much more fluid than it is today.) Botolph's establishment is most likely to have been in Suffolk. However, he was a popular missionary, to whom many churches between Yorkshire and Sussex, including that of Boston, are dedicated.

Early history[edit]

The Domesday Book of 1086, does not mention Boston by name. However, the settlement of Skirbeck is covered, as part of the very wealthy manor of Drayton. Skirbeck had two churches and one is likely to have been that dedicated to St Botolph, in what was consequently Botolph's town. Skirbeck (map), is now considered part of Boston, but the name remains, as a church parish and an electoral ward.

The order of importance was the other way round, when the Boston quarter of Skirbeck developed at the head of the Haven, which lies under the present Market Place. At that stage, The Haven was the tidal part of the stream, now represented by the Stone Bridge Drain (map), which carried the water from the East and West Fens. The line of the road through Wide Bargate, to A52 and A16, is likely to have developed on its marine silt levees[citation needed]. It led, as it does now, to the relatively high ground at Sibsey (map), and thence to Lindsey.

The reason for the original development of the town, away from the centre of Skirbeck, was that Boston lay on the point where navigable tidal water was alongside the land route, which used the Devensian terminal moraine ridge at Sibsey, between the upland of East Lindsey and the three routes to the south of Boston:

  • The coastal route, on the marine silts, crossed the mouth of Bicker Haven towards Spalding.
  • The Sleaford route, into Kesteven, passed via Swineshead (map), thence following the old course of the River Slea, on its marine silt levee.
  • The Salters’ Way route into Kesteven, left Holland from Donington. This route was much more thoroughly developed, in the later Medieval period, by Bridge End Priory (map).

The River Witham seems to have joined The Haven after the flood of September 1014, having abandoned the port of Drayton, on what subsequently became known as Bicker Haven. The predecessor of Ralph the Staller owned most of both Skirbeck and Drayton, so it was a relatively simple task to transfer his business from Drayton, but the Domesday Book of 1086 still records his source of income in Boston under the heading of Drayton, so Boston’s name is famously not mentioned. The Town Bridge still maintains the pre-flood route, along the old Haven bank.


Blackfriars Arts Centre

After the Norman ConquestRalph the Staller’s property was taken over by Count Alana. It subsequently came to be attached to the Earldom ofRichmond, North Yorkshire, and known as the Richmond Fee. It lay on the left bank of The Haven.

During the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Boston grew into a notable town and port.[5] The quinzieme was a duty raised on the fifteenth part (6.667%) of the value of merchants' moveable goods at the various trading towns of England. In 1204, when the merchants of London paid £836, those of Boston paid £780b.

Thus by the opening of the thirteenth century, it was already significant in trade with the continent of Europe and ranked as a port of the Hanseatic League.[6][7] It was one of the official "staple towns" of England, authorized to carry on the import and export trade. Much of Boston's trade at this time was in wool, and Boston is said by the locals to have been built on it. Apart from wool, Boston also exported salt, produced locally on theHolland coast, grain, produced up-river, and lead, produced in Derbyshire and brought via Lincoln, up-river. The wool export trade began to decline in the fifteenth century as the industry shifted to the value-adding business of weaving, which was conducted in other parts of the country, the Hansa merchants quit the town, and Boston's wealth declined.

In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries four orders of friars arrived in Boston: DominicansFranciscansCarmelites, and Augustinians. As the English Reformation progressed, their friaries were closed by King Henry VIII. The refectory of the Dominican friary was eventually converted into a theatre in 1965, and now houses the Blackfriars Arts Centre.

The town received its charter from Henry VIII in 1545[8] and Boston had two Members of Parliament from 1552, but with the Haven silted, the town was then rather living on memories.

17th and 18th centuries[edit]

The staple trade made Boston a centre of intellectual influence from the Continent, including the teachings of John Calvin that became known asCalvinism. This, in turn, revolutionised the Christian beliefs and practices of many Bostonians and residents of the neighbouring shires of England. In 1607 a group of pilgrims from Nottinghamshire led by William Brewster and William Bradford attempted to escape pressure to conform with the teaching of the English church by going to the Netherlands from Boston. At that time unsanctioned emigration was illegal, and they were brought before the court in the Guildhall. Most of the pilgrims were released fairly soon and the following year, set sail for the Netherlands, settling in Leiden. In 1610, several of these were among the group who moved to New England in the Mayflower.

Boston remained a hotbed of religious dissent. In 1612 John Cotton became the Vicar of St Botolph's and, although viewed askance by the Church of England for his non-conformist preaching, became responsible for a large increase in Church attendance. He encouraged those who disliked the lack of religious freedom in England to join the Massachusetts Bay Company, and later helped to found the city of Boston, Massachusetts (1630) which he was instrumental in naming. Unable to tolerate the religious situation any longer he eventually emigrated himself in 1633.

At the same time, work on draining the fens to the west of Boston was begun, a scheme which displeased many whose livelihoods were at risk. (One of the sources of livelihood obtained from the fen was fowling, supplying ducks and geese for meat and in addition the processing of their feathers and down for use in mattresses and pillows. The feathery aspect of this is still reflected in the presence of the bedding company named Fogarty, located nearby in Fishtoft.) This and the religious friction put Boston into the parliamentarian camp in the Civil War which in England began in 1642. The chief backer of the drainage locally, Lord Lindsey, was shot in the first battle and the fens returned to their accustomed dampness until after 1750.

The later eighteenth century saw a revival when the Fens began to be effectively drained. The Act of Parliament permitting the embanking and straightening of the fenland Witham was dated 1762. A sluice, called for in the Act, was designed to help scour out The Haven. The land proved to be fertile, and Boston began exporting cereals to London. In 1774 the first financial bank was opened, and in 1776 an Act of Parliament allowed watchmen to begin patrolling the streets at night.

Modern history[edit]

In the nineteenth century, the names of Howden, a firm located near the Grand Sluice and Tuxford, near the Maud Foster Sluice, were respected among engineers for their steam road locomotives, threshing engines and the like. Howden developed his business from making steam engines for river boats while Tuxford began as a miller and millwright. His mill was once prominent near Skirbeck Church, just to the east of the Maud Foster Drain.

The railway reached the town in 1848 and briefly, it was on the main line from London to the North. The area between the Black Sluice and the railway station was mainly railway yard and the railway company's main depôt. The latter facility moved to Doncaster when the modern main line was opened. Boston remained something of a local railway hub well into the twentieth century, moving the produce of the district and the trade of the dock, plus the excursion trade to Skegness and similar places. But it was much quieter by the time of the Beeching cuts of the 1960s.

Boston once again became a significant port in trade and fishing when, in 1884, the new dock with its associated wharves on The Haven were constructed. It continued as a working port, exporting grain, fertilizer, and importing timber although much of the fishing trade was moved out in the inter-war period. 


The First Boston 

St. Botolph's Church
A Gothic stump from 1309

Five years after the Battle of Hastings (1066) where William the Conqueror subjugated much of England, a parcel of land in Lincolnshire was gifted to one of his noble supporters from Brittany. A church was built – often the precursor to what we would call “development” today. It was named after an orthodox saint with the unorthodox name “Botolph” that preached throughout England in the 7th century. Saint Botolph (ca 610 - 680) began his religious training as a monk in Gaul (modern day France). In 654, he returned to England and founded the monastery of Ikanhoe in East Anglia. No, not Ivanhoe - that's a novel by Sir Walter Scott. Coincidence? I think so.

Tradition has it that the place came to be called "Botolphston" – either from "Botolph's stone" or "Botolph's town" – which was later contracted to "Boston." Remember, these were the same wily bunch of seafaring people who gave us the terms fo'c'sle(foke-sol) for "forward castle" and bo's'n (bo-sun) for "boatswain." With that in mind, I can believe "Boston." Or is it B'st'n?

Unlike tradition, however, evidence suggests that Boston was not the site of St.Botolph's monastery. It is more likely that Boston started in the 10th century as a small Saxon village around a wooden church. The existence of this church was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. As seen in the photo, the church, known as "the stump," has improved considerably from its humble wooden beginnings, though now suffers from a really bad nickname.

A Lord-Mayor in fashionable 
formal wear.

During the Middle Ages, the village grew to become the second most important port in England, enjoying great traffic from Hanseatic traders of northern Europe. In 1545, the town was granted it's charter, which allowed the Lord-Mayor to dress-up in elaborate robes, wear a large black velvet three-corner hat, and sport the town seal suspended from a large gold chain. By the 17th century, Boston had become a hotbed of religious nonconformism, inspired by figures such as John Foxe and John Cotton. Many Bostonians, including Cotton, relocated to Massachusetts. In fact, about 250 people left Boston, which was about a tenth of the town’s population, to find new homes in Massachusetts over the next few years. Furthermore, throughout the emigration period of 1620-1640, England lost over 20,000 people to Massachusetts.

But why? Why did so many people want to leave England? Didn't they know about Massachusetts' winters?

Nonconformists: Reforming the Church and State

John Foxe

In October of 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theological theses (declarations) to the castle door in Wittenberg, Germany. Hoping to spark a little earnest discussion, Luther got a revolution instead, or more accurately, a Reformation. That same year, John Foxe was born. Who, you say? Well if you were an ardent reader back in 1563, or knew someone who was, you would know that John Foxe published his work called “The Book of Martyrs.” It was a smash hit among those in England dissatisfied with the Church, known as nonconformists, of which there were a considerable amount. Many had been waiting since Henry VIII for a real opportunity to reform the Church. Ah, that “great reformer” of the Church, Henry VIII. Well, he wasn't really a reformer; more of a hijacker.

King Henry VIII

You may remember that Henry VIII, a Tudor, was experiencing problems with his marriage, as well as political difficulties, such that in 1533, he convinced the Bishopric of Canterbury to annul his marriage toCatherine of Aragon. Not satisfied with his quick, Las Vegas-like annulment, Henry saw this as an opportunity to get rid of his biggest competitor to wealth and land – the Church. A year later, Henry had Parliament make him the “Supreme Head of the Church in England.” This immediately severed all ties with the Roman Catholic Church, and made him the ultimate power in England. Think of it as a hostile take-over with Henry as the new CEO. The Church and the State were now one. This was very good news to the reformers, for they wanted to overhaul both institutions to make them more biblically-based. This just made their task that much easier. The reformers wanted all the folderol removed from the Church that they believed was unnecessary, like ornate ceremonies, opulent vestments, and the ever-popular Indulgence of the Month Club. Similarly, the State could work best if it used the Bible as a template for such things as justice, so the reasoning went.

During all this “reformation,” regular and somewhat subversive theological meetings were being held in the White Horse Tavern in Cambridge, England. All good revolutions seem to begin in bars. Among those present over the years were Thomas Bilney, Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer – all of which were later martyred for their beliefs. A rather sobering thought.

King Edward VI

Henry had no particular desire to "reform" the theology of the church, since it would now more or less serve him. However, there were many reform-minded people that did care - particularly those frequenting the White Horse Tavern for Theological Thursdays. Unfortunately for them, such desires found little royal support during Henry's reign. After the King died in 1547, his nine-year-old son Edward assumed the throne. Children would often rule through officials called regents, much like agents chaperoning rock-stars today, although with considerably less mess.  The two regents that aided Edward were the Duke of Somerset and the Duke of Northumberland, both of which had some degree of sympathy for the reform movement's vision. The rush was on for the “purification of the church and the state” between 1547 and Edward's death in 1553.

Mary: Olde England

Queen Mary I
"Bloody Mary"

The next Tudor on the throne was Mary I Tudor, better known as "Bloody Mary." Mary wanted nothing more than to turn back the clock and return England to the Roman Catholic fold, no matter what the cost. So she pulled a Crazy-Ivan, doing an about-face, and set the ship of State careening back towards Catholicism. The result was a massive emigration of Protestant exiles to Europe, settling into pockets in Geneva and Frankfort. With them went John Foxe, who would continue to drink deeply of the dreams of Church reformation, presumably at the White Horse Tavern's counterpart somewhere in Switzerland or Germany.

Then, in 1558, good news for the reformists: Mary I died, and her Protestant sister Elizabeth reversed the earlier tide towards Catholic reunification, sending the émigrés back home in droves. Crazy-Ivan number two. From the pen of John Foxe, the reformers would demand the pure practice of both the Monarchy and the ecclesiastical leaders, directing all English affairs sola Scriptura – according to the Scriptures alone. Well, with such momentum, what could possibly stand in their way?

Queen Elizabeth I

The next Queen of England. Just when they saw light at the end of the tunnel, Queen Elizabeth I surprised them. Elizabeth I’s desire was for political stability and order, not extremism – especially the kind which the theological heirs of those White Horse participants seemed to be. The State and the Church should, in her view, be broad and inclusive and should base its life on tradition and reason as well as on the teachings of Scripture. As a consequence of her moderate approach, the word "Puritan" as it's associated with the nonconformists became a name of ridicule during the reign of Elizabeth I.

By 1570, the nonconformists had split into two factions: those that wanted to work within the system, and those that had had enough of it and wanted to leave. And so they did, eventually. Elizabeth I died in 1603, and was replaced by James I, first from the Stuart line. The Stuart line originated from Scotland, and being from the north, they were natural allies to the Cavaliers - the supporters of the Monarchy, associated with the Nobility, peasantry, and Episcopalians.

James I

James enjoyed the Monarchical power, the extravagant spending, and the belief in the divine-right of kingship. James didn't like Parliament, Sir Walter Raleigh, or Puritans. Over time, his relationship with Parliament eroded to the point where they simply wouldn't give him anymore money. He had bungled foreign policy, inflation was everywhere, and gave out peerages like cocktail napkins. Politics spilt over into religion, and once again the ship of State made a U-turn back to Roman Catholicism. Crazy-Ivan number three.

Though many considered him a bit of a paranoid twit, he did manage to commission an Authorized Version of the Bible, printed in English in 1611. In one of those many ironic twists of history, an English Bible was probably on the Puritans' List of Things To Do considering their strong belief in individual study and practice of the Scriptures, not to mention scholarship in general. Making the Bible so accessible to the masses was a great start. However, it was clearly not enough. During his reign, the lines became more distinctly drawn between the Episcopalians and Cavaliers of the North and West counties, and the Puritans and their sympathizers in Parliament (later to be called "Roundheads") of the richer South and East counties.

In 1607, a group of reformers - the ones that had had enough of the Church, the King, and the warm beer (later referred to as the Pilgrim Fathers) - put enough shillings together to hop a ship from Boston, England to the Netherlands. This was risky stuff, because it was illegal to leave England without the King's permission. As they boarded the ship, their minds were on the adventure that lay before them. The captain of the vessel had other things on his mind. He turned them in to the local authorities, and they were thrown in jail. After a brief stay, they tried again in 1608, and this time succeeded. That is to say, they reached the Netherlands. After 12 years, they decided the Dutch people weren't the right kind of people, and split for the New World.

The Progress of Pilgrims

As the Puritan movement gained a voice in the words of Foxe's Book of Martyrs, so the "Pilgrim" movement could be traced to Robert Browne's book,Reformation Without Tarrying for Anie (1580). Browne shared Foxe's vision, but after more than a decade of seeking reforms within the English church, became disillusioned. He "separated from" the English church, and in 1581 started his own congregation in Norwich, England.

Thus began the Separatist movement – a faction which later produced leaders like John Robinson, William Brewster, and William Bradford. These three were directly involved in that group of Separatists which, as mentioned above, left England for the Netherlands, and then later decided to emigrate to the New World, landing at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620, forever inspiring this bit of prose:

April showers bring Mayflowers.
What do Mayflowers Bring?




By Tim Lambert

Dedicated to Rebecca Reeve


According to legend Boston is named after St Botolph. It is said he came to the area in the 7th century and built a monastery and church next to an existing settlement. The settlement was renamed Botolph's tun (town). However this story is disputed by some historians who believe its name has a different origin.

Boston was not mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086. However it probably grew into a little town in the late 11th century or early 12th century. At that time international trade was booming. Boston was well situated to trade with Europe and it soon became a busy little port. Boston also became a focal point for the surrounding villages. It grew into a market town.

As well as weekly markets Boston had an annual fair by 1125. In the Middle Ages fairs were like markets but they were held only once a year. Merchants came from all over Europe to buy and sell at a Boston fair.

In the Middle Ages wool was England's most important export. By the 13th century wool exports from Boston were booming. In the early 13th century Boston paid more tax than any other town except London. Apart from wool some salt, grain and lead were exported. The main import was wine (the drink of the upper class). Timber and fish were imported from Scandinavia. Spices were also imported into Boston.

In the 14th century only certain towns were allowed to export wool. They were called staples. In 1369 the king made Boston a staple. However in the 15th century the wool industry shifted away from the East Midlands to other parts of England. As a result Boston began to decline. Furthermore the River Witham began to silt up which hindered shipping adding to the decline of the port.

In the Middle Ages Boston was surrounded by a ditch called the Barditch. Bar is the old word for gate. Just to make life complicated the street name 'gate' as in Bargate is derived from the old Danish for street 'gata'.

Medieval Boston was a large town. It had several thousand inhabitants. To us it would seem no more than a large village but by the standards of the time, when settlements were very small, it was a large and important settlement.

However although it was a busy port Boston was not a manufacturing centre. Nevertheless it did have the same craftsmen found in any Medieval town such as carpenters, shoemakers, tanners, butchers and bakers.

St Botolph's church was constructed during the 14th century. The tower, known as the Boston Stump was added between the early 15th century and the early 16th century. It stands 272 feet tall. For centuries it acted as a landmark for sailors.

In the late 13th century friars came to Boston. The friars were like monks but instead of withdrawing from the world they went out to preach. There were 4 orders of friars in Boston, the Dominicans (known as black friars because of the colour of their costumes), Franciscan or grey friars, Carmelites and (from the early 14th century) Austins or Augustines. (The refectory or dining room of the friary was made into a theatre in 1965. It is now Blackfriars Arts Centre).

There was also a 'hospital' just outside the town called St John's Hospital. It was run by an order of monks called the Knights Hospitaller. Here they cared for the poor and the sick as best they could.

In 1281 Boston suffered a fire, which destroyed much of the town. (Fire was a constant danger in Medieval towns as most of the buildings were made of wood with thatched roofs. However if they did burn they could easily be rebuilt).

Several buildings in Boston have survived from the Middle Ages. Shodfriars Hall probably dates from the 14th century. (Some friars were called shod friars because they wore shoes unlike the Carmelites who were 'unshod'). Pescod Hall is part of house built in the mid-15th century. St Mary's Guildhall was also built in the 15th century. (In the Middle Ages some people joined religious guilds, which looked after members spiritual wellbeing). Hussey Tower was built in the mid-15th century as part of Hussey Hall. (It was named after Lord Hussey who once owned it).


In the mid-16th century Henry VIII closed the friaries in Boston. However Boston continued to be a busy little town. However Boston was not made a borough until 1545 when King Henry VIII granted it a charter (a document giving the townspeople certain rights). Furthermore from 1552 Boston sent 2 MPs to parliament. Boston Grammar School was founded in 1555.

Nevertheless in the 16th century Boston was much less important than it had been in the 13th century. The wool trade had almost stopped by 1500. The main trade from Boston was a coastal trade. (In those days it was easier to transport goods by water than by land and many commodities were shipped around the coast of Britain).

In the mid 16th century a writer named John Leland described Boston thus: (I have changed his words slightly to make them easier to read) 'The greatest and chief part of the town in on the east side of the river, where there is a fair market place and a (market) cross with a square tower.'

Leland said the Church of St Botolph was: 'so risen and adorned that it is the chief (church) of the town and for a parish church is the best and fairest in all Lincolnshire.'

During the 16th and 17th centuries the population of Boston continued to grow. (This was despite outbreaks of plague in 1587-88, 1603 and 1625). Maud Foster drain was dug in the mid-16th century. Then in 1604 James I granted Boston a new charter.

In 1607 a group of Puritans from the Gainsborough area, led by William Brewster, attempted to escape to Holland from Boston. At the time such 'emigration' was illegal but they bribed a captain to smuggle them on board a ship. However he betrayed them to the authorities before they could set sail. Nevertheless most of the Puritans were soon released and the next year they escaped in a ship from the Humber.


The writer Daniel Defoe visited Boston in the 1720s and he was impressed. He called it 'large and populous'. However Boston only really began to revive in the late 18th century when Holland Fen was drained. The newly drained land was rich and fertile and soon Boston began to 'export' cereals from the area to London.

In 1794 the River Slea was made navigable from Sleaford to the Witham, which increased the amount of traffic travelling through Boston. The Grand Sluice in Boston opened in 1766.

In 1713 a charity school opened in Boston. It was called the Blue Coat School because of the colour of the uniforms. A new Customs House was built in Boston in 1725. Fydell House was built in 1726 by William Fydell who was mayor of Boston 3 times.

In 1776 an Act of Parliament formed a body of men called Commissioners with power to light the streets of Boston and to appoint watchmen to patrol the streets at night.

In 1774 Boston gained its first bank and in 1795 a dispensary was opened where the poor could obtain free medicines.


In 1801 Boston had a population of 5,926. By the standards of the time it was quite a large market town.

In the early 19th century the coastal trade to and from Boston continued to flourish. Then in 1884 new docks were built downriver of the town which greatly boosted business. Meanwhile Maud Foster Mill was built in 1819.

Although Boston was really a market town there was some industry in the 19th century such as making farm implements and in the later 19th century a label making industry.

Furthermore there were some improvements to Boston in the 19th century. From 1825 Boston had gas light and a waterworks company was formed in 1845. The railway reached Boston in 1848. A volunteer fire brigade was formed in 1855. Also in 1855 a Corn Exchange was built in Boston.


In 1901 the population of Boston was 15,000. It rose only slowly in the early 20th century. In 1931 Boston still had a population of only 16,500. By 1951 the population of had risen to 24,000 but this was largely due to boundary changes. (The boundaries of Boston were extended to include other communities).

In the 20th century Boston was still a busy port. Grain, fertiliser and animal feed were imported. So was timber. Wheat, potatoes and beet sugar were exported. Industries in Boston included making tags and labels, food canning and making beds and pillows.

In the 20th century amenities in Boston improved rapidly. The first cinema in Boston opened in 1910. Centenary Methodist Church opened in 1911. A new town bridge was built in 1913. Then in 1919 the council bought Central Park. In 1924 Boston gained electric light.

Meanwhile a War Memorial was erected in Boston in 1921. County Hall was built in 1927. Also in the 1920's the first council houses were built in Boston.

The Guildhall was turned into a museum in 1929. In 1938 the American Room in Fydell House was opened by US Ambassador Joseph Kennedy.

Sutterton Enterprise Park opened in 1997.


The Pescod Shopping Centre Opened in Boston in 2004. Boston is also a busy and important port. Today Boston has a population of 59,000.

A timeline of Boston

A history of Grantham

A history of Lincoln

A history of Wisbech

A history of Louth




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