I once heard a story that a visitor to Lincolnshire, on discovering that there is a town in our county called Boston, said how nice it was that we named our towns after cities in the USA. Of course it’s the other way round. In 1612 John Cotton, non-conformist Vicar of St Botolph’s Church (aka “The Stump”) in Boston Lincolnshire encouraged his flock to join the Massachusetts Bay Company, and he later helped to found the city of Boston, Massachusetts (1630).
This is a rather basic example of the kind of historical fact about Boston Lincolnshire that makes it a town well worth visiting if you are on our patch, and there are lots more. Did you know that earlier, in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, Boston was a major trading port, second only to London? Or that by the opening of the thirteenth century, Boston ranked as a port of the Hanseatic League, the commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns dominating Baltic maritime trade along the coast of Northern Europe?
There’s no better place to get the feel of Boston’s distant and recent past than its ancient Guildhall in South Street. Continue reading