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Description and Travel

Boston is both a parish and a town near the east coast of Lincolnshire. The River Witham turns south-east and runs through Boston to the sea at Black Buoy Sand. The parish of Boston is surrounded by Skirbeck parish on the east and south, with Wyberton and Brothertoft to the west and Langriville and a portion of Sibsey to the north. Boston parish comprises most of the old town of Boston.

The town of Boston lies near "The Wash", an inlet of the North Sea on Lincolnshire's south-east coast. The Wash is notorious for its sandbars and shallows. The town is 107 miles north of London.

Boston was a market town and sea port. The town is dominated by the 272-foot-high (83 metres) tower of St. Botolph's parish church. The tower (and not the church) is called "The Stump" by local fishermen who use it as a navigation beacon, but the term is sometimes used by others to include the church as well. If you are planning a visit:





LDS Film/Fiche No. Piece Numbers LFHS Surname Index
1841 0438755 H.O. 107/613 Fiche
1851 0087727 & 0087728 H.O. 107/2098 to 2099 Booklet
1861 0542955 & 0542956 R.G. 9/2330-2338 Fiche
1871 0839353 through 0839355 R.G. 10 / 3337 & 3339 - 3344 Booklet
1881 1341766 & 1341767 R.G. 11/3212-3219
1891 6097683, 3 fiche R.G. 12/2573 Booklet or Fiche
1891 6097684, 3 fiche R.G. 12/2574
1891 6097685, 4 fiche R.G. 12/2575

Church History

Boston parish church

Boston Saint Botolph's church

Boston Saint Botolph's church


Church Records


Civil Registration


Historical Geography

Tim Sylvester tells us (in 2002):

There have been many works on the Witham, from Roman times to the modern period. In an Atlas for Boston - Frank Molyneux and Neil Wright, p36 it is recorded that the area of Boston known as "Old River Bed" holds 74 acres. I believe this description resulted from the enclosure of land relating to the old course of the River Witham, which was substantially altered to improve navigations and drainage between Boston and Lincoln. The Witham Drainage Act was approved in 1761. The proud boastings of Boston's corporations before the opening of the Grand Sluice at Boston as part of the scheme drove one disappointed visitor of the opening ceremony to verse following the opening day ceremony:

"Boston, Boston, Boston!
Thou has naught to boast on,
But a Grand Sluice, and a high steeple;
A proud, conceited, ignorant people
And a cost where souls are lost on."


These books may also help:

There is also this pamphlet series:


Land and Property




Medical Records


Military History


Military Records


Names, Geographical


Names, Personal






Officials and Employees

John BRACKENBURY was mayor of Boston in 1719. Mr. William T. SIMONDS was the Mayor in 1902.


Politics and Governance

Caution: due to the drainage of the Fens and population growth in the area, parish boundaries have been changed. New parishes were added in the area in the late 1800's. In 1932, civil and parish boundaries were changed and are no longer the same for each jurisdiction, so no two maps will show the same boundaries.

Skirbeck Quarter is part of Boston. Just to confuse matters there is also the parish of Skirbeck. Skirbeck is generally north and east of the river Witham. Skirbeck Quarter is south and west.

As you left Boston in the old days, heading south towards Spalding, Peterborough and London, you would travel down High Street, which then became London Road. At this point there are houses along only one side of the road, as the river is immediately on the other side. London Road runs along the river for about a 1/3rd of a mile, when the river does a 90-degree left turn towards the Wash.

The road area, at the junction with what was originally Rowell Row and which since September 1936 is Wyberton Low Road, is called Newtons Corner. There used to be almhouses there, but they were demolished around 1960 - 1970. A baker's shop has been across the road from where the almhouses were for at least 50 years, and there also used to be a corn merchants a few doors along in the 1950s.

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.



Boston flourished in the 1800s. The statistics below will include the officers and inmates in the Poor Law Workhouse:

    Year  Inhabitants
1801 5,926
1831 11,240
1851 15,132
1871 15,144
1881 14,926
1891 14,593
1911 16,673


Boston has an ancient tradition as a centre of learning:

Frank BONTOFT was a school teacher in Boston in the late 1870s, but it seems that he wasn't particularly well-liked by his students. Apparently the children used to chant this little ditty which they wrote about him: [Rosemary Ash]

"Down Shodfriars Lane there is a school
And in that school there is a stool
And on that stool
There sits a fool
And his name is Bunkus Bontoft"


Voting Registers


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Last updated on 15-February-2015
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