The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Boston (England)

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The Encyclopedia Americana
Boston (England)
Edition of 1920. See also Boston, Lincolnshire on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

BOSTON, England, a municipal and parliamentary borough and port of Lincolnshire, situated on the river Witham, about five miles from the sea, 30 southeast from Lincoln. It derived its name (a corruption of Botolph's town) from Saint Botolph, who founded a monastery here about the year 650. Its chief interest for Americans lies in the fact that it was the English home of the most influential of the settlers of Boston, Mass. The port had formerly a flourishing trade, but owing to various causes, and especially the fact that in dry seasons the river became choked up with sand brought in by the tides, this trade greatly declined. In 1881 a new channel was constructed so as to bring the town within three miles of the sea by navigable water; and a new dock of seven acres area, capable of admitting vessels of 3,500 tons at the highest tides, was opened three years later. Boston contains some fine buildings, notably the parish church of Saint Botolph, the Cotton chapel and various other places of worship, a grammar school dating from 1554, the Athenaeum, the Guildhall and the Assembly rooms, under which are arranged the butter-market, poultry-market and the police-station. Saint Botolph's Church is a very large and handsome Gothic structure, with a tower, known as Boston Stump, 282 feet high, containing a carillon of 36 bells cast at Louvain. In the upper part of the tower, octagonal in shape, lights used to be suspended for the guidance of mariners at sea and travelers crossing the fens by night. The town is now well supplied with water brought from a reservoir distant about 14 miles. The leading industries comprise iron and brass foundries, the manufacture of farm implements, sails, ropes and bricks, and tanning, brewing and malting. Fishing also gives occupation to many of the inhabitants, and there is steam communication with Hull and London. Pop. (1911) 16,673. The borough returns one member to Parliament.