Roll of achievement
Information about people on our local roll of achievement.
Raymond Leonard Ringrose
Raymond Leonard Ringrose, known to all as Ray Ringrose, was one of five children, son of a solicitor, with two brothers who were also solicitors. He married Mary in 1941 and they had four children, Philip, Chris, Sheila and Simon, and had several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
During the war Ray was based in Lincoln and had responsibilities for security in the county. After the war, he became a member of the Royal Air Force Association and the British Legion and he was made an honorary member of the officers' mess at RAF Coningsby.
He came to Boston in 1953 and joined the firm of Grocock and Staniland. When Arthur Watson Grocock died, Ray bought Norman McClement into the firm, who later was elected a councillor and became Mayor of Boston before his untimely death in the early 1970s.
On Ray's retirement as a partner in the late 1970s, and with his agreement, the firm changed its name to Ringrose & Co in recognition of the respect associated with his name in the county.
Ray was best known for his advocacy skills, both as a prosecutor and defender. He enjoyed this aspect of legal work better than any other. As well as representing clients in The Courts Martial, he prosecuted for the Police, NSPCC, National Rivers and was, in later years, ably assisted by John Osgerby a retired chief superintendant.
Such was the respect for his skills that when George Whitehead was appointed a judge, being one of the first two solicitors in the country to be so appointed, George asked Ray if he wished to be appointed to the bench. Ray declined and declined again when the invitation was repeated some years later. He did not wish to sit in judgement of others.
Ray regularly instructed barristers from Kings Bench Walk, one, David Wild, later appointed as a judge became a family friend. Another Igor Judge, became the Lord Chief Justice.
He served as an independent member of the Agricultural Wages Committee for Lincolnshire and at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture was part of the panel dealing with milk quotas. He was also clerk to the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, involved in the community, a Rotarian and a highly entertaining after-dinner speaker.
After the death of his wife Freemasonry gave him purpose
Ray died on February 4, 2012, aged 97 years.
Submitted by his business partner Richard Tinn
Mick rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in 2001, with his brother Steve, and did it again in 2005 with rowing partner Andrew Morris. Between the two Atlantic adventures he twice attempted to row solo the North Pacific, from Japan to San Francisco. His first bid in 2003 was ended when his rudder was torn off in a gale and in 2004 his boat sank after 109 days at sea having covered 4,500 miles and got two thirds of the way across. Together with Chris Martin he completed this voyage, becoming the first crew to complete the 7,000-mile voyage. Submitted by Andrew Malkin
Judge G.G.A. Whitehead DFC
George Whitehead was born in Leverington, near Wisbech, in July 1916. On leaving school he began work in a local solicitors' office. Three years later he left to join the Spalding office of Roythorne & Co, where he worked until the outbreak of war.
Judge Whitehead volunteered to join the RAF, becoming first a teleprinter operative. In 1941 he began aircrew training in Scarborough. He was then transferred to the United States under what was known as "The Arnold Scheme" to train as a pilot. He returned to this country for operational training on Halifax bombers.
It was on return from a night raid over Berlin on January 21, 1944, that he was shot down over Lens in Northern France (ironically one of Boston's former twin towns). His father was informed he was "missing in action". However, having successfully bailed out, over the next three months, with the assistance and incredible bravery of members of the French Resistance, he was able to escape through France and over the Pyrenees to Gibraltar - a journey of more than 700 miles through occupied territory for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and membership of the exclusive Caterpillar Club (for those who have saved their lives by a parachute jump).
It was forbidden for aircrew who had been shot down to fly over occupied Europe again as they could endanger the Resistance who had helped them previously. So for the remainder of the war Judge Whitehead flew C87s for Transport Command. He flew the first British plane into Tokyo at the end of the war in the Far East, carrying the Canadian Military attaché to sign the surrender document.
After demobilisation George Whitehead returned to Roythorne & Co. and trained as a solicitor. He married Monica Watson in 1946 at Acomb, York. They moved to Boston in 1948, when George was asked to establish an office for Roythorne in Pump Square, (the year before he was admitted as a solicitor). He eventually became Senior Partner.
In 1962 George Whitehead was elected as Conservative Councillor for Central Ward. He was the 434th Mayor of Boston from 1969-70. His mayoral year coincided with the 350th anniversary of the sailing of the Pilgrim Fathers and he and Monica made an official visit to the United States to commemorate the event. He became an Alderman at the end of his mayorality. Following Local Government reorganisation he stood unsuccessfully as an Independent candidate for the new district council.
He was involved in a wide range of community organisations, including the Round Table, the Rotary Club, who awarded him the title of Paul Harris Fellow, the Royal Air Force Association, for which he served a term as president, and the Boston and County Club.
His involvement in St. Botolph's Parish Church was very important to him; he was churchwarden for 25 years, and, after his retirement, he was able to give more time to the church, serving as a Lay Reader which involved, among other duties, taking mid-week services and conducting funerals.
George Whitehead served for several years on the Law Society Committee, concerned with the reorganisation of the courts system. This led to the replacement of the Assizes and Quarter Sessions by Crown Courts from January, 1972. On the recommendation of the President of the Law Society he also became one of two solicitor members of the Crown Court Rules Committee, sitting with, among others, the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice and two High Court Judges.
When Crown Courts started operating, George became one of the first solicitor recorders for the Midlands Circuit. In 1976 he became one of the very first solicitor-judges for the circuit serving Nottingham, Lincoln, Grimsby and Derby.
At the opening of the Grimsby combined courts centre in 1989, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Lane, singled Judge Whitehead out for praise when he said: "He is one of the successful solicitor judges; successful, I believe, because he himself has been an advocate of distinction and knows the tricks of the trade."
George retired in 1991. He died in 2001, survived by Monica and their two daughters.
Colour Sergeant Damian Todd
Colour Sgt Todd, from Boston, pictured, has completed his "Gumpathon" - a 3,530-mile fundraising run across America. The Gumpathon was named after the character Forest Gump, played by Tom Hanks, who, in the film, also ran across the country. Colour Sgt Todd was a British-ranked decathlete and was once a member of the British bobsleigh team. The Gumpathon was his invention and he decided on the idea after a close friend was severely injured during a tour in Afghanistan. Mark Ormrod had both his legs and right arm amputated after stepping on a landmine. The Gumpathon will raise funds for Help for Heroes, the US Injured Semper Fi Fund and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.
Colour Sgt Todd damaged his Achilles tendon weeks before the start of the run, but was resolute on the challenge, so instead of running he went across America on a hand bike along with the runners. The six British and US servicemen ran from New York to California over eight weeks to raise money for wounded military veterans. They passed through three deserts, four time zones, ten mountain ranges, 16 states and 789 towns. Each day - rain, hail or shine - they ran anywhere up to 88 miles, keeping an average pace of ten minutes per mile or less. Most days, they ran relay-style for about ten hours, with one runner completing ten or more miles before handing on to the next. Colour Sgt Todd said the idea of quitting never entered his mind - even when running uphill on a humid 110F (43C) day in West Virginia, getting frostbite in his fingers on a chilly night in California or struggling against the driving rain in New Mexico. Submitted by Andrew Malkin
Born in Boston in 1903, the son and grandson of Boston doctors, Rick Pilcher grew up in the family house in High Street. He was educated at Shrewsbury School, winning a foundation scholarship in classics to St John's College, Cambridge, where he switched to medicine. He trained at St Thomas's Hospital in London and took his FRCS in Edinburgh after being briefly in general practice with his father.
He was an orthopaedic surgeon, the first specialist surgeon in south Lincolnshire, as well as a true general surgeon. The London Road Hospital was updated from a cottage hospital and rebuilt for his needs, incorporating many of his ideas. His memorial is the Pilgrim Hospital, which he helped to plan but in which he never worked. It succeeded the old Boston General Hospital, which had been founded by his grandfather almost 100 years previously. Throughout his time in Boston he was associated with the St John Ambulance, acting as divisional surgeon for more than 20 years. On his retirement he was appointed an Officer of the Order of St John.
At the end of the First World War his excellent memory and familiarity with local fishing boats were put to use to eavesdrop on returning prisoners of war to check the validity of their stories.
In 1933 he married Moira McNidder, whom he had first met in Sutton-on-Sea, where both families took their summer holidays each year. They had two daughters and a son. He retired to South Thoresby, in the Wolds, where he lived until his death in 1989; Moira died in1979.
As a young man he spent much time with the professional wildfowlers on The Wash, and was an excellent shot. On the outbreak of war he rescued and then looked after the wildfowl which his friend Sir Peter Scott had had to abandon on entering the Navy. These rescued birds formed the basis of his own collection and, after the war, some were returned to Sir Peter at Slimbridge when the Wildfowl Trust was started. At one stage he had the only redbreasted geese in captivity, and later the only Hawaiian geese outside the Wildfowl Trust and Hawaii itself. He kept a large collection of wildfowl at home until his retirement. He had been involved with the Wildfowl Trust since its earliest days and was a council member and latterly a trustee. He took part in many of the Wildfowl Trust rocket-netting expeditions, in which geese were ringed for studies of their populations and migrations.
The second Wildfowl Trust property at Peakirk largely owes its existence to his knowledge and hard work. He was much involved in the survival and preservation of the nearby Borough Fen Decoy, originally used to catch wild duck for market, and about which he was co-author of a book. His house in Boston was also often home to wildlife such as the litter of baby badgers that the family reared there. Like his father he was a keen lepidopterist, and for many years had a (home-made) ultraviolet moth trap in the garden, later taking a portable version to the coastal dunes. Their joint collection of British butterflies and moths is now in the Natural History Museum. In later years he turned his attention to conservation, becoming a council member and then chairman of the Lincolnshire Trust for Nature conservation. Submitted by his daughter Mrs Diana Dolman.
Dr P.V. Hardwick
His village was devoted to him and he to it.
Dr Hardwick was the village doctor in Kirton from 1928 until his death in 1957. He was born in Parkestone, Dorset in 1894, the fourth of five children of a pharmacist. He was educated at King's School Grantham, lodging in the town with two spinster aunts. After service during the First World War on the North West Frontier in what is now India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, he trained in medicine at Leeds University and then in General Practice in North Yorkshire. He came to Kirton in 1928 as assistant to Dr Norman Witham, taking over the practice and the house on London Road a few years later.
From his arrival in Kirton until his death, Dr Hardwick was totally involved in village life. He held office in many local organizations: The parish council, scout committee, football club and the Royal British Legion are just some of the activities which he supported. He was a member of the parish church, where he was an active bell ringer, and at the time of his death he was a churchwarden as well as chairman of the parish council. He was an avid champion of local businesses; always employing local tradesmen. During the Second World War he was a member of the Home Guard, allowing his garden to be used for training.
Dr Hardwick married Mollie (Rosalind Mary), daughter of Dr C.W. Pilcher, of Boston, in 1938. They had two adopted daughters. Dr Hardwick ran the practice single-handed until 1952, when he took on Dr La Touche as his assistant and then partner. Surgeries were held at the house; casualties (and occasionally babies) would arrive unexpectedly and our mother, or the maid, Lucy, would hold the fort until the doctor could be called back if he was out on his rounds (remember this was a time when few homes had a telephone). Diabetics' urine specimens for testing were left in Camp Coffee bottles on the kitchen windowsill, sometimes accompanied by a bottle of home-made wine from the grateful patient. Before the coming of the National Health Service in 1947, payment for treatment was often "in kind".
Home visits were the norm, sometimes more than once a day. Most babies were born at home and the doctor would go out during the night to assist the district nurse with a difficult confinement.
Older Kirton people still recall him being driven round on a tractor so that he could make his visits during the snow in the winter of 1955/6. He served as an assistant anaesthetist to the Boston group of hospitals as well as medical officer of Woodlands Court, Kirton.
Dr Hardwick was a knowledgeable gardener and loved to work in his one-acre garden to relax when his day's work was over. From 1950 he was loyally assisted by gardener/ handyman Joe Hilton. He enjoyed sharing the garden and it was used regularly for the church fete. He had wide-ranging interests and every family holiday would include visits to ruins, castles and cathedrals as well as long country walks.Trained in an era long before antibiotics were discovered, when good nursing was the key to survival, Dr Hardwick gave himself to his patients in a way which seems incredible today. He was much loved and respected by his patients who would sometimes say to his widow "Things aren't the same now as they were in Dr Hardwick's day." His memory lives on in Kirton with Hardwick Road and the Hardwick Estate being named after him. Submitted by Mrs M.P. Fernando, Gloucestershire, daughter of Dr Hardwick
Richard Anderson's life is entirely dedicated to Boston Grammar School. When Richard arrived he was told it was no use arranging after-school clubs - boys wouldn't stay back; no use trying to arrange foreign trips - no one wanted to go. He's proved those statements wrong. Club Continental. Charity Club. Cross Country Club. General Knowledge Club. For a time, Railway Club. For a shorter time Hacky Sack Club, but where there were boys with an enthusiasm which needed help to develop, Richard was there to give that help.
When it comes to teaching no one puts in more effort. His classes are a three-ring circus of activity. He's always available for out-of-hours extra teaching. And when it comes to covering for absent colleagues he would sooner teach than get his own work done while the class work silently. There have been times where he would take his own class and an absent colleague's class into the dining-hall and teach both together, switching from form to form and French to German to keep both sets of boys fully employed. In the days of the language festivals he would work tirelessly to provide role-plays and readers and transport the lot of them up to Lincoln. When the event was hosted at BGS it involved even more work.
He was the originator, with Bob Don-Duncan, of the Skegness to Boston Seabank Marathon, planning the route and check-points. He raised money for the school's first minibus and for the hall curtains. He was the doyen of jumble sales, driving the minibus around town and villages to collect items for sale and keeping the whole thing together. The Charity Club he runs has benefited so many causes. A cheque for £3,000 would be handed over on Speech Day. Only when he'd been told he couldn't (because of Health and Safety) hold the 12 (formerly 24) hour fundraising marathons did it prove impossible to reach that target.
He's driven many more miles in minibuses than in his own car, always providing drop-off at home at the end of a trip, and a fish and chip supper on the way home. Pop concerts, motorbike races, shows and exhibitions, as well as cross-country and athletics events. Trips abroad began with one a year and then became two a year, with a trip to France for the juniors in the summer term half-term and a trip to Germany or Austria with the seniors in the summer holiday. His reward is those boys who in later life return to those places. From the trip reunions came the Schuhplattlergruppe. The dining room was set up to look like a Bavarian bier-hall and after a meal would come a cabaret. The plattler routine was used in the language festivals.
Then came the first television appearance, regular bookings at fêtes and festivals, even more television appearances. Typically modest, he would never front these broadcast, saying that any success was "down to the lads and the lads should take the credit". Taking a British plattler group to Austria and Germany is utterly remarkable.
In journalistic ventures he's gone from the 1G Journal to the Grammar Gazette, regretting the passing of the school magazine along the way. His Achievement Assemblies highlight all the good that goes on at BGS. As a member of Boston Athletic Club he used the Princess Royal Sports Arena and latterly uses the Beehive for coaching. And now he runs BGS's Sports Day at the arena.
Pupils, parents and teachers have always supported RWA over the years. To show their support, parents and pupils arranged a This Is Your Life surprise party for him. And when his future at the school looked doubtful he was retained following a campaign of public support. Now the oldest and longest-serving teacher at the Grammar School, he's looked up to not just by "the lads" but the teachers too, who will seek him out for help and advice. He's survived by not being hide-bound by tick-lists and requirements. He knows what's good for the lads and makes sure they get it. Submitted by Ron Abbott, friend and colleague since 1971
Gillian's husband was Peter James Allenby who set up the Boston Weight Training Club over 40 years ago. The service that he brought to the local people was a place where they could go and exercise, whether it was power lifting, bodybuilding or generally just keeping fit for a cost of next to nothing so people from all walks of life could afford to participate. He built the gym right from scratch, actually starting in the garden! All the work was voluntary, not only getting the equipment together but also offering valuable advice to trainers on supplements, nutrition, training tips and workout programmes. This service soon became very popular and soon outgrew the premises. The club moved into a two storey warehouse down Threadneedle Street where it still is to this day.
Sadly Peter died very suddenly in 2002. This not only left my family devastated but also the club members too. I remember standing in the Church and seeing it full of people, people whose lives had been touched in some ways by my father. I was so proud of his achievement. Now my Mother found the strength and the courage to continue my Father's legacy. She works tirelessly for nothing and goes every night rain or shine to make sure the gym stays running and dealing with the frequent problems. It's hard but she does it for love. That's why she deserves to be included in the Roll of Achievement. There are many local people who give their time and effort to offer their services to others. They may not have trophies or medals to show for their hard work. That is why they need recognizing as they are constantly achieving. Submitted by Mrs Michele Launchbury (Nee Allenby)
Alan Day DFC
A Second World War hero and prominent borough councillor
Born in Cambridge, Alan went to Boston Grammar School, followed by three years at Oakham School from 1937 to 1940. After Oakham Alan joined the RAF and had a distinguished war career flying Spitfires and Hurricanes in 253 (Hyderabad State) Squadron. He was posted to Termoli, Italy, as part of the newly-created Balkan Air Force in July 1944 to assist Tito in attacking long-range targets in Albania, Yugoslavia and Greece. He was wounded by intense small arms fire through the aircraft cockpit canopy on 28th October, but back in action again in November. Shot down February 26th, 1945, but picked up by a Tito Partisan and he again returned to operations. He was awarded the DFC in 1945. After the war he joined his father's flour milling and animal feeds business in Boston, married Margaret Hodder and had four children. Margaret died of cancer in 1991. His life outside of family and business is a good example of how one man contributed to his community by way of good works, civil duty and charity. He was a Freemason, Round Tabler and a Boston Town Councillor for 20 years and was elected Mayor in 1998 with his friend Jane Kent filling the role of Mayoress. He was a Lincolnshire County Councillor from 1981 to 1985 and 2001 to 2009 and a magistrate for several decades. He was a member of the Escaping Society which encompassed his wartime exploits in Yugoslavia and was also a member of Royal Air Force Association and the British Legion. Alan was also a very active member of his local church, St Leodegar's, in Wyberton. Alan never wasted a moment of life and enthusiastically got involved with the historic twinning of Boston, Lincs, with Boston, USA. Following on from the animal feed business, he founded Day Tours and conducted Blue Badge guides of his home town and the City of Lincoln. He was also a founding voice and keen supporter of the Butterfly Hospice Trust, Boston, which aims to provide care for patients with life-limiting illnesses. He had a wicked sense of humour which never deserted him, always delivered in perfectly-spoken English.
Alan died peacefully on 21st April 2010 aged 86 in Boston. Submitted by Richard Day
Callum won a gold medal for boxing at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. He found himself on top form at the games and was unstoppable as he fought his way to an 8-1 gold medal winning victory. Callum was born in Boston, grew up in Fenside and went to Haven High School. He now lives in Benington. But he was Scotland's boxing team captain at the games. He has boxed for Scotland for six years - his grandmother on his mother's side is from Springburn, in Glasgow. His Dad, Paul is his trainer. Callum has now turned professional, signed by promoter Frank Warren. His manager is former champion Naseem Hamed. Submitted by Andrew Malkin
Janet Elizabeth Lane-Claypon 1877-1967
As a youngster Janet Elizabeth lived at Tytton Hall, Wyberton. She was the daughter of the prosperous Boston Banker, William Lane-Claypon. She was a brilliant student, obtaining a first-class honours degree in physiology in1902 and Doctor of Science in 1905. In 1902 she became the first women to receive a British Medical Association research scholarship and in 1908 she received the prestigious Jenner Research scholarship of the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine. Her professional accomplishments fall into three categories. Early in her career she carried out important laboratory studies of reproductive physiology, biochemistry and microbiology. In the second phase she studied the nutritional value for human babies of mother's milk compared to boiled cow's milk. She also wrote extensively on women's and children's health and welfare. From 1917 to 1923 she served as Dean of King's College for Women. In the third and final phase of her career she studied cancer epidemiology in the Ministry of Health from 1923 to 1930. In 1926 she pioneered research into breast cancer, identifying most of the risk factors for that disease which are recognised today. Other notable events in her professional career included involvement with the Medical Women's Federation and the appointment of one of the first female magistrates in 1920. Janet Elizabeth married Sir Edward Rodolph Forber, the deputy secretary at the Ministry of Health in 1929. As a married women she could no longer remain in the Civil Service and so retired. She devoted the rest of her long life to religious pursuits as she and her husband moved from place to place in the South of England. She died aged 90 and is buried in the parish churchyard of Bishopstone in Sussex. Submitted by Warren Winkelstein, Berkeley, California
Ernest Bowser (1887 to 1969)
E.W. Bowser lived at Tytton Hall from 1926 to 1955. During his life he created the large farming business E.W. Bowser and Son Ltd extending to some 2,000 acres as well as being a prominent public figure. In 1943 he was High Sheriff of Lincolnshire. For many years he was a magistrate and had a lifelong interest in drainage matters, serving on various drainage authorities from the ages of 31 to 71. He was chairman of the Witham Fourth Internal Drainage Board from 1935 to 1957. Mr Bowser was also chairman of Boston NFU for 18 years. During the Second World War he was a member of the War Agricultural Executive Committee which had powers to ensure the maximum amount of food was grown in the area. His ashes are buried in Wyberton Churchyard. Submitted by Robert Bowser
It's all in the name
Welcome to an addition to the Roll of Achievement where members of the University of the Third Age Local History Group have researched the stories behind the naming of some of the borough's roads and streets.
The researchers say: In the case of family names such as Tilney, Irby, Richmond, etc, it is not always possible to state which individual family member was chosen to be commemorated. We have therefore only given a brief outline of the history of the family.
Members who have contributed are Jane Brierly, Edith Clark, Jean King, Alberta Markillie, Pam Southworth, Pam Townsend, Chris Waterfield, Margaret Watts, Tom Welch and Janette and Roy Wilkinson.
IRBY STREET and the Irby family
Irby Street was named after Irby Hall which stood on Haven Bank almost opposite and facing Boston Stump. An old map of 1741 shows it to have a very large garden to the back of it. The last member of the Irby family to live in it was Sir Edward Irby, after which it was let for some years. There is now nothing to see on the site as it was demolished many years ago. The Irby family can be traced back to Sir William de Irby, a knight, living in 1251. However the connection with Boston began when Leonard Irby was clerk of the peace for Holland and Kesteven, and represented Boston in Parliament during the reign of Queen Mary and again when Queen Elizabeth came to the throne. His nephew Anthony Irby, who was a lawyer, represented Boston during the later years of Elizabeth's reign, but neither of these men appears to have resided in Boston, as Leonard was 'of Swineshead' and Anthony was buried in Whaplode, so presumably he lived there. Anthony's son, Thomas, was married in Boston Parish Church so he may have been the first of this family to have a residence here. Also Thomas's elder brother Anthony (later Sir Anthony) buried his second wife Margaret in Boston, so maybe he also had a house in the town at that time. In 1591 Sir Anthony Irby owned land in Boston and in 1633 the same or another piece with a garden upon it, which had previously been known as Pond Garth. This may have been Irby Hall. The house was still standing in 1770 and the illustration in Pishey Thompson's History of Boston, shows it to have been an impressive abode. Unfortunately by 1776 there was nothing left of it but a chimney to show where it had been.
Franklin Close; Born Spilsby, Lincolnshire 1786; Died 1848? Northern Canada while searching for the North West Passage
John Franklin was the son of a small businessman. One of his sisters was the mother of Emily, wife of Lord Tennyson. Always fascinated by the sea he joined the Merchant Navy in 1800 and sailed between Hull and Lisbon. He joined the Royal Navy in 1801 and took part in the Battle of Copenhagen. Later that year he joined the crew of The Investigator as a midshipman and sailed to Australia with his uncle Matthew Flinders. It was on this voyage that he began to learn the navigational skills which were to be so valuable in his attempts to discover the North West Passage. While he and Flinders were in Australia they visited and named 25 places after Lincolnshire towns and villages. On his return he was again involved in the Napoleonic Wars and took part in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. He continued service in the Navy until 1815. From 1815 until 1818 he spent time at home and got to know Joseph Banks who was encouraging the Admiralty to devote more resources to scientific exploration. In 1818 he was promoted to lieutenant and took command of HMS Trent. Their aim was to find what was to become known as the North West Passage. From 1818 until 1830 Franklin prepared for and made two attempts to find this passage without success. All this time he continued to be enthralled by the possibility of developing Australia and was appointed Governor of Van Dieman's Land [renamed Tasmania in 1855] in 1836. He remained in Tasmania until 1844 and was instrumental in setting up what was, in effect, the first state-run education system in the British Empire. He and his wife used their own money to build a museum in Hobart which still survives today. Unfortunately their progressive ideas were met with much opposition both in Tasmania and in England and he was recalled in 1844 under an undeserved cloud. However he is still regarded as an important figure in Tasmania. In 1845, when he was 59, he was offered the command of yet another expedition to find the elusive North West Passage. He was in command of two ships and with sufficient supplies in transport ships for three years. He set off on 19th May. They arrived in Greenland in July and the crew sent what was to be their last letters home with the transport ships. On 26th July they were sited by a whaling ship whose captain reported that Franklin estimated that they had supplies that would last for five years. The two ships, John Franklin and 129 crewmembers were never seen again.
Jean Ingelow was born in Boston on 7th March, 1820, the daughter of William and Jean Ingelow (nee Kilgour). She was the eldest of eight children, four girls, and four boys. When she was very young her parents' house burned down and the family went to live with her grandparents, whose house overlooked the river. She spent many happy hours gazing out of the upstairs windows at the bustling life of the wharf below. She and her cousin John George Holloway used to play down by the river. The river and the sea seemed to play a considerable part in her life. Jean wrote many poems, some of which were about the sea. She was reputed to have been in love with a young sailor who was lost at sea, and certainly many of her poems relate to unhappy love affairs and the loss of a husband or lover at sea. Her most well-known poem is High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire. Jean's family was wealthy as her grandfather William senior owned a bank in Boston and her father also worked in the bank. However in 1834, when Jean was 14, her grandfather's bank collapsed and both her father and grandfather were declared bankrupt. It seems that at that time there was a shortage of experienced bankers and her father soon got another job in Ipswich and so the family moved there to live above the bank. This was a big house overlooking a river once more, and Jean was given a bedroom all to herself which was a luxury in a large family. Unfortunately in 1845 this bank also collapsed and the family, penniless again, then moved around from place to place living in rented accommodation. Jean went to live with friends in Tamworth who encouraged her to publish her poems. Her first book was published anonymously but she later published under her own name. She earned small, regular sums which enabled her to help with the family's finances. Her uncle James Hardwick Holloway sent some of her poems to Tennyson to ask his opinion. She counted Tennyson among her friends, also Ruskin and Christina Rosetti, who considered her a rival at first but later became a good friend. Jean's name was at one time linked with Robert Browning, but she never married and lived all her life with her brother William. After his death in 1886 she no longer wrote although more of her work was published, but it had been written before William's death. She wrote a novel covering four volumes in 1872 and another in 1880 and a third in 1881. She became very well known here but her work was also very popular in the United States and she had many fans there. After Tennyson's death it was suggested that she become the next Poet Laureate, but it was considered to be an unsuitable post for a woman. A petition was sent from America supporting Jean for this position, but Queen Victoria refused to change her mind. Jean Ingelow died on 26th July, 1897, and was buried in Brompton Cemetery.
Matthew Flinders Way; Born 1774 in Donington, Lincolnshire; Died 1814 in London
Matthew Flinders came from a medical family but was always determined to go to sea. He joined the Navy in 1789 aboard HMS Alert and later became a midshipman on HMS Bellerophon. He sailed with Captain Bligh to the West Indies and began the first of his journals recording details of the wild life and natives of the islands that he visited. In 1789 he sailed for Australia in HMS Reliance. Also on board was another Lincolnshire man, George Bass, a surgeon, and the two men spent much time exploring and charting the largely unknown east coast. The supply of food in the colony had always been a problem and Flinders and Bass sailed to the Cape of Good Hope to obtain breeding sheep and cattle which were to become the foundation for the Australian meat industry. During his time in Australia Flinders developed a passion for exploration and made many trips to previously unknown territories. He returned to England in 1800 and persuaded Joseph Banks to organise and finance a scientific expedition to Australia. HMS Investigator sailed in July 1800. Also on board was his nephew John Franklin. The way through the Great Barrier Reef was discovered on this voyage and was named Flinders Passage. Flinders, Franklin and other members of the expedition continued to chart the coastline of the continent for the next three years. In 1803 he was anxious to return to England to report his findings to Banks and to the Royal Society. On his way home his ships ran aground and he was forced to return to Australia for repairs. He eventually set sail for home in HMS Cumberland. This was a very small ship which meant that they had to make frequent stops for supplies. When he landed on Ile de France he discovered that England was again at war with France and he was placed under house arrest. He remained a prisoner until 1810. During this time he wrote his accounts of his voyages and completed his work on charts and maps. He also wrote a treatise on compass deviation caused by iron in ships. This resulted in the production of the Flinders Bar which is still used today worldwide despite the availability of satellite navigation. He died in 1814 the day after publication of his great works. His contribution to navigation is extremely important. He was the first man to circumnavigate Australia, proving that it is a continent rather than a series of islands as previously believed. Australia has honoured him by erecting monuments and statues and there are islands, rivers, a mountain range and a university named after him. Most towns there have a street named after him and his grandson William Matthew Flinders Petrie became one of the greatest Egyptologists of his age.
Cotton Road; The Cotton Chapel in St Botolph's Church; Born 1585; Died 1652
John Cotton was born in Derby and was the son of a lawyer. He attended Derby Grammar School and when he was 13 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge. He became an MA in 1606 and later became a Fellow of Magdalen College. He was appointed vicar of St Botolph's in 1612. The Bishop of Lincoln did not approve of the appointment because he thought Cotton was too young to be in an area that was so greatly influenced by Puritans. However Cotton was popular in the parish. He married Elizabeth Horrocks in 1613 and remained in Boston for the next 20 years. Despite many enemies and opposition from within the church he remained very popular with his parishioners. In 1631 he suffered a bout of ague [malaria or fen fever] and was unable to work for year. His wife died from this fever in 1631 and they had no children. He married again the following year and was again in trouble with the church because of his nonconformist views. Consequently he resigned his post and fled to live in London. In 1633, when his wife was heavily pregnant they sailed for America. Their son Seaborn was born on the voyage. John Cotton was ordained in Boston, Massachusetts in 1633. During the next 18 years he instigated many reforms of the civil and religious institutions and was a strong influence in the town. While on a ferry going to preach in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he caught a cold and died in 1652. He left six children, three sons, and three daughters. Two of his sons became ministers in the church and their descendants and those of his daughters can be traced in both Boston, Massachusetts, and Boston, Lincolnshire. His widow remarried and died in 1856. In his will he left his wife the rents from his house and garden in Market Place, Boston, "which are mine by right of marriage with her". A chapel in the Stump was restored by American Bostonians in 1856 and named The Cotton Chapel. This contains a brass plaque with a Latin inscription.
Died 1581; Maud Street; Foster Street; Maud Foster Drain; Maud Foster Cottage; Maud Foster Mill
Maud Foster was a Boston widow but little is known of her life apart from mention in the Corporation records. In 1568 she was granted the life-long lease of a cottage, two cellars, and three acres of pasture for an annual rent of 49shillings. She was also believed to own or lease 11 tenements in a lane by the Town Bridge thought to be in the area of Fish Hill. She also part owned a ship called Mary Anne. This was a small coastal vessel plying between Newcastle and Boston carrying coal. In her will, made in 1581 [she died in November 1581] she asks to be buried in Boston Churchyard but the exact place is not known. In her will she left her house to Gregory Hill and her shares in the ship to him and to John Murfire. She also left a bushel of coal to every poor widow in Boston. The inventory of her possessions showed that she also had two shops containing stocks of coal. Her house and land are believed to have been in the area of the Scire Beck, a stream which ran from Hall Hills to the Witham. In 1586 a new drain was planned from Cowbridge to the Witham and it seems likely that this would have cut through her land. It is believed that she gave consent to this after favourable conditions were agreed, one being that it should bear her name. The windmill in Willoughby Road was built in 1819 for the Reckitt family. This was renamed after they went out of business and apart from the name it has no connection with Maud Foster. The house further along Willoughby Road and called Maud Foster Cottage by local people may have been on the site of her house, but this has not been proven.
Bradford Road; Born 1588; Died 1657
William Bradford was born in Austerfield, Yorkshire, and brought up by his grandfather and two uncles following the death of his father and the remarriage of his mother. He led a very solitary life as a child and young man and thought deeply about spiritual matters. He became convinced that the Reformation in England had not worked and began to withdraw from local parish assemblies. He began to attend the meetings in Scrooby and here he met William Brewster. Brewster was 24 years older than Bradford and became a father figure to him. William Bradford joined Brewster and the other members of the Scrooby congregation when they attempted to leave England, via Boston, for a new life in Holland in 1607. This attempt was thwarted by the ship's captain who betrayed the Separatists to the authorities since it was then illegal to leave the country without the permission of the King. They were held in the town jail for a month and then released on bail and returned to Scrooby. By the summer of 1608, Bradford, Brewster and many of the Scrooby congregation had successfully relocated to Amsterdam. Since he had no family Bradford lodged with the Brewsters. Later that year they moved once again, this time to Leiden where again Bradford lived with Brewster until 1611 when, at the age of 21 he was able to claim his family inheritance. He then bought his own house and set up business as a successful fustian weaver. In 1613 he married Dorothy the daughter of wealthy English parents who were living in Amsterdam.
By 1617 Bradford, Brewster and other members of the group began to make plans to sail for the New World. In 1620 they sailed from Plymouth, Devon in the Mayflower and arrived in Massachusetts on November 9, 1620. William Bradford and his wife had left their son, a sickly child, with his grandparents and it is thought that Dorothy became very depressed on being separated from him. On arrival they needed to find a suitable place to form a settlement and Bradford volunteered to become a member of an expedition to find a suitable location. They decided upon an area which is now Plymouth Harbour, Massachusetts. When they returned to the group Bradford was told that his wife had fallen overboard and had drowned. Although never stated because of the shame, there is a suggestion that she might have committed suicide. While building their settlement the colonists were aware of being watched by hostile groups of Native American Indians and realised that in order to live in harmony with them some kind of agreement was needed. The governor of the colonists, John Carver and William Bradford made peace with the Americans and came to an agreement whereby they would aid each other if they came under attack from other settlers or tribes. Carver died in April 1621 and William was elected governor and remained as such until his death. In 1623 he married a widow named Alice Southworth. They had a grand wedding feast rather reminiscent of the present day Thanksgiving celebrations. Local American Indians were invited and they brought with them turkeys and deer. William and Alice had three children all of whom survived and married. As head of the government of Plymouth, Bradford oversaw the courts and the finances. He corresponded with investors and neighbours and formulated policy regarding relations with foreigners, Indians and the law. He wrote "Of Plymouth Plantation" which is a detailed account of the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and of the lives of the colonists. He became ill during the winter of 1656/7 and died in May 1657.
Brewster Road; Born 1566; Died 1644; Wife, Mary, died 1627; Children: Love, Patience, Fear, Jonathan
William Brewster is best known as one of the Pilgrim Fathers (previously known as Separatists) who tried to escape religious persecution by going to the New World. Brewster, and other Protestants from Boston, attempted to sail from the Port of Boston to Holland and thence to America. However they were betrayed by the ship's captain and were captured at Scotia Creek in the Haven. Brewster was born in Doncaster but was brought up in Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, where his father was an estate bailiff and postmaster at Scrooby Manor which was owned by the Archbishop of York. Because of its position on the Great North Road the job of postmaster in Scrooby was an important one. William spent some years at Peterhouse, Cambridge, but did not stay to finish his degree. He went into the service of William Davison who was a Secretary of State and he travelled with him to Holland. His time there meant that he was able to observe first hand the new Protestant movement, which was to have a great influence on him for the rest of his life. Davison fell into disfavour with Queen Elizabeth and was recalled to London. William then returned to Scrooby Manor and took over the running of the estate from his father. While in Scrooby, William became very involved with the religious separatists, established a small church, and also held meetings in the Manor House. These meeting were brought to the attention of the authorities and eventually they were forced to flee persecution. His first attempt, in 1609, was to sail from Boston to Holland. However they were betrayed and robbed and were held in the cells in the Guildhall for a month, since at that time it was against the law to leave the country without the permission of the King. However the Boston magistrates were sympathetic to the Separatists since Boston was becoming a Puritan town and he, with the rest of the Puritans from the ship, were released on bail. Brewster and his family returned to Scrooby, destitute. The following year he and other members of his church sailed to Holland from a port near to Grimsby. This flight was successful and he spent the next 12 years in Leiden, becoming an Elder of the church and teaching English at the university. He formed a partnership with a printer and they produced religious books and tracts. However his partner was arrested and the printing press equipment was seized. Fortunately Brewster managed to escape prosecution and he obtained a land patent from the London Virginia Company and sailed from England on the Mayflower in 1620 as one of the first group of Pilgrims to leave the country for the New World. When the colonists reached Plymouth, Massachusetts, he became an Elder being the only university-educated settler. He was advisor to the Governor, William Bradford, and played an important part in the colony until his retirement. So great was his influence that four islands around Boston harbour were named after him - Great Brewster, Little Brewster, Middle Brewster, and Outer Brewster. In 1632 he left Plymouth and settled in Duxbury where he had been given some farmland. He died in 1644. Some of his notable descendants are Benjamin Harris Brewster, United States Attorney General 1881 1884; Bing Crosby, singer and actor; John Foster Dulles, US Secretary of State 1953-59; Adlai Stevenson Senator 1970-81; Thomas Pynchon, born 1932, author and Sarah Palin, Republican politician
Pescod Hall; Pescod Shopping Centre
At the beginning of the 14th century, Boston was one of the principal ports in England and its prosperity owed much to the wealthy merchants, one of whom was of the Pescod or Peascod family. It is recorded that in 1328, 140 people in Boston, paid tax, including Walter Pescod. The St Peter and Paul Guild was founded in 1368 by these wealthy merchants who each paid 100 marks for royal permission to buy land for the Guild. The site of the guild building is believed to have been in Wide Bargate near the New England Hotel. This was previously called the Cross Keyes, which was the sign of the Guild. This guild paid a pension of 14 pence for those brethren that were living in poverty. There is a brass commemorating William Pescod and his wife in St Botolph's Church. The brass measures 9½ feet by 4½ feet and is in a large canopy at the side of the High Altar. The brass of his wife is missing, probably destroyed during the reformation, but that of William is intact together with small brasses of ten saints. On his gown and on his mantle are incised open peapods, probably a pun reflecting his name - Pescod or Peascod. The brass is one of only two large brasses remaining in the church and is in very good condition. Pescod House or Pescod Hall, now in the shopping centre, is believed to have been the home of William Pescod and it originally stood at the end of Silver Street. It was dismantled in 1972 by members of the Isaac family which owned the department store, Oldrids, to make room for a car park. It was re-erected, using as much of the original material as was possible, and used as a shop. During the construction of the Pescod Shopping Centre in 2002/3 the hall was moved again. A construction company lifted the entire building and moved it several yards in order to gain more space for deliveries to the new stores in the centre.
THE FYDELLS of Boston
Fydell Street; Fydell Crescent; Fydell House, South Square
The first reference to the Fydell family is in the parish of Freiston towards the end of the 16th century. The family continued to live in and around Boston until about 1816. It was William and his son Joseph and their descendants who were to be very influential in the town. William was a merchant and member of the corporation and he apprenticed Joseph to a local mercer. Joseph became an alderman and was twice elected as mayor of the town. He began leasing land and property in the town, concentrating mainly in the South End area. In 1726 he bought what became known as Fydell House from Samuel Jackson and he and his descendants continued to live here until 1816. The garden of the house once extended to beyond what is now John Adams Way and the family also owned the land which is now the site of Boston United Football ground. Joseph died in 1731 and the ownership passed to Robert and then to his son, Richard. Richard died in 1780 and his son, Thomas continued to live there until his death in 1812. His wife and bachelor son died shortly after. These were the last of the family to live in Boston, other members living in Stamford and Rutland. Samuel Richard Fydell, of Rutland, the main beneficiary, was the last of the family and he died in 1868. The family had bought large areas of land and in 1814 about 200 acres in Skirbeck and Boston were sold. All of this area is now covered with houses, although the streets bearing the family name are not in Skirbeck. The Fydell family were important wine merchants and owned and leased warehouses in the South End district of the town. The building that is now the Sam Newson Music Centre was once used by the family as a wine warehouse. What is now known as Gysors Hall is thought to have once belonged to John of Gaunt and was bought from the Borough by Thomas Fydell and used as a warehouse. It was very dilapidated when he acquired it and he eventually had it demolished and rebuilt using much of the original stone. Sources: The Fydells of Boston . The Grandest House in Town. Both books written by A.A. Garner and on sale in Fydell House.
Lynn Ellis Close; Died 1989
Lynn Ellis was a nurse at Pilgrim Hospital in the 1970's. During this time she developed a painful and terminal illness. However despite the pain and disfigurement she worked bravely and tirelessly to raise money for charity. In 1979 she set up a charity called DOCATEF [Detection of Cancer and Treatment Fund] Money raised by this charity was used by the Pilgrim Hospital cancer department. Lynn Ellis was awarded the B.E.M in 1987. When she died in 1989 she had raised £300,000.
It is said that St Botolph's Church was built on wool. It is assumed that this means that the money needed to build such a magnificent church came from the merchants who had become rich because of the value of the wool trade in Boston. Among these wealthy merchants was the Tilney family and Margery Tilney is recorded as giving £5 towards the foundations of the church.
The antiquarian William Stukeley is much quoted by Pishey Thompson and he records Stukeley's account of the digging of the foundations. Stukeley was born in Holbeach and practised medicine in Boston from 1710 until 1717. During this time he travelled extensively throughout England recording information about the architecture of old buildings that he thought would become victims of the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution. His book Itinerarium Curiosum was published in 1724. He writes that the work on the foundations of St Botolph's began on the Monday after Palm Sunday in 1309. Work continued until midsummer by which time they were five feet below the level of the Haven. A bed of stone was found on top of a layer of sand beneath which was an unknown thickness of clay. Then, on the Monday after the Feast of St John the Baptist (24 June 24) the first stone was laid by Dame Margery Tilney. The Tilney family is of Norman origin and they first settled from Normandy in Norfolk. The first Tilney in Boston was Frederick, apparently a great warrior who accompanied Richard I on a Crusade in 1190. On his return he continued to live in Norfolk but all of his heirs lived in Boston. His grandson married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Rochforde and it is thought that this is probably Margery Tilney. A carved alabaster tomb of a woman presumed to be Margery Tilney is in St Botolph's Church (see picture above). The Tilney family was important and had close connections with the royal household in the 16th century. An Elizabeth Tilney married Sir Thomas Boleyn and was the mother of Anne. There was a Tilney Lane in South End, mentioned in the Corporation Records in 1534, and Tilney Lands in Skirbeck Quarter were mentioned in 1640.
John Adams Way
John Adams Way is named after the second President of the United States (1797-1801), who also served two terms as Vice-President to George Washington. John Adams (1735-1826), pictured, was a prominent lawyer and public figure in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a champion of American liberty, and deeply involved in the States' moves towards independence from Britain. As a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, he played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence, and assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776. Adams then led the debate on its adoption. Later, as a representative of Congress in Europe, he was a major negotiator of the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain, and chiefly responsible for obtaining important loans from Amsterdam bankers. A political theorist and historian, Adams largely wrote the Massachusetts state constitution in 1780. His achievements have received greater recognition in modern times, though his contributions were not initially as celebrated as those of other Founders.
His link with Boston, Lincolnshire, is that his wife Abigail Smith, pictured, was a descendent of the Quincy family: Edmund Quincey emigrated in 1633 from Fistoft to Massachusetts - at the time Boston was regarded as "vigorously Calvinist", led by the devout Puritan preacher John Cotton, who rejected many principles of the Anglican Church; and Edmund was in a group which left Boston with John Cotton to find a secure life in New England. John and his wife, Abigail founded a famous family line of politicians, diplomats, and historians now referred to as the Adams political family. Their son John Quincy Adams later became the sixth President of the USA. The town of John Adams' birth, and where he lived and brought up his family, is now named Quincy. Sources: Francis Frith Collection (Neil Wright): Boston - A Quiz and Miscellany. Neil Wright - The Book of Boston. Neil Wright - Boston - A History and Celebration. Wikipedia - John Adams, Abigail Adams.
WILLIAM HENRY WHEELER
Wheeler Close; Wheeler House, 126 London Road, Boston
Born Hammersmith, London 1832; Died Bromley, Kent 1915; Married Martha E. Sills, of Casthorpe, near Grantham; Family, two sons and a daughter; Educated: Kings College, London, obtained a degree M.INST.C.E in1867.
In 1861 he was appointed borough and harbour engineer in Boston. He designed the New Dock and excavation began on May 2, 1882, and work was finished in 1884. In 1871 Boston Corporation built the People's Park, which was the first public park in Lincolnshire. The park was built on a 30-acre site in South End. Unfortunately, in the years leading up to the Second World War and after the whole park was used for dock development. He designed a 12-bed cottage hospital in 1874 and it was opened on May 28, 1875. He acted as hospital honorary secretary until 1892. The New Corporation Swimming Baths were opened in 1880, designed by him, and closed in 1965. His life memberships included the British Association, The Royal Agricultural Society and also Membership of the International Congress on Navigation. He was a Freemason, and a senior member of the Harmony Lodge. He had a number of books published with the "The History of the Fens of South Lincolnshire" being the most well known. He was one of the first members of the Old Rifle Volunteer Corps in Boston, and retired as a Quartermaster Sergeant after 25 years service. The remains of William Henry Wheeler were interred, after cremation, in St Nicholas' Churchyard, Skirbeck. Mr Wheeler had donated two stained glass windows to this church in memory of his wife and two sons (both drowned at sea).
Frank's Lane, Wyberton; 1912 to 1998
This obscure but pleasant unmetalled by-road is sign-posted on Church Lane, Wyberton and zig-zags its way through the fields to Routing Cross on Streetway. Formerly known as Green Lane (and, in much earlier times, Stepping Stone Lane or Routing Cross Lane) it was renamed in 1998 in honour of Frank Johnson, who lived in the white cottage which can be seen on the other side of the Towns Drain from St Leodegar's Church. Once part of an important route linking Wyberton and Frampton parishes, the lane is now a lovely country walk, edged with trees, bushes and a stretch of water-filled dyke which is slowly reverting to nature. Near Routing Cross you will find a row of scrub-like apple trees bearing small, sour fruit and an ancient windmill used to stand close to the Church Lane end of the track. Frank's Lane bisects what used to be the great, medieval Mill Field, so a gentle stroll here will set you firmly in the footsteps of our ancestors. Although the grass surface is kept trimmed and you will find a few Lincolnshire County Council concrete posts delineating part of the route (and to prevent encroachment), this is really just a road for horse-riders and those who prefer "shanks's pony." When you meet people who knew Frank Johnson (1912-1998) they will chuckle and declare that he was a "real character".
Apparently known as "Amy" to his friends, he was a tough, honest, reliable, hard-working, weather-beaten countryman who could turn his hand to most things and "live off the land" in the traditional manner.
In 1950 Frank was still working as a tractor driver for Mr Graves and lived near the Moore's Arms, where his prodigious thirst could be quenched conveniently, and this establishment remained his "house" of choice thereafter. He left that farm at the end of the year and, in January 1951, was employed by the Black Sluice Drainage Board in Jim Fisher's roding gang (along with Jack Gilbert and Ted English). From that time until 1977 this team must have hand-scythed thousands of miles of dyke banks, the last of the old brigade before machines took over completely. At some stage during the 1950s Frank moved to Church Lane (with his wife, Eva-May, daughter Iris and son Tony) and established himself as the consummate countryman remembered fondly by so many people in Wyberton parish and beyond. After official "retirement" Frank worked tirelessly at Roads Farm, Frampton, cutting miles of hedges, hoeing sugar beet and doing whatever else was required. He was famous for his strength and endurance and the ability to outdo men three decades or more younger than himself. In fact, he never really retired from work and was actively helping others in various ways until his death. When Eva-May became terminally ill she taught Frank to cook (almost from her bedside) to ensure his comfortable survival and he made use of this knowledge by helping to prepare her funeral tea. He was an expert "marsh dabber", may have been the last person locally to keep and kill a pig annually and he could shoot and beat with the best of them. Several quite respectable local businessmen will confess to having accompanied Frank on nocturnal rambles around the hedgerows to gather in surplus furred and feathered produce! Although the Moore's Arms provided some of Frank's nourishment, he also home-brewed a wide range of excellent country beverages which still live in the memories of his surviving friends! But these recollections, few as they are, can provide only the merest glimpse of a long, full, useful and productive life.
Ralph's Lane, Frampton
This lane was named after Ralph Smith, of Wyberton, who was executed on May 16, 1792, at Lincoln Castle for the murder of Gentle Sutton, of Frampton. His body was brought back by cart and hung in chains on the gibbet post with crowds gathering to see it. A commemorative plaque on the roadside in Ralph's Lane marks the site of the gibbet. Ralph Smith was the last person in the Boston area to be hung in chains, this practice being abolished 43 years later. He had returned four months previously from having been transported, presumably from Australia, and was therefore already labelled a hardened criminal. According to the records Gentle Sutton was 70 years old and was murdered in his cottage, which was in what is now Banisters Lane, off Ralph's Lane. Smith stole "a claret-coloured coat and waistcoat, two pairs of white buckskin breeches, a scarlet waistcoat, one new bottle-green coat, a striped velvet waistcoat and five silver teaspoons". A young boy reported having seen Smith at the cottage and was able to give a good description of him. Smith was arrested in Fiskerton, near Lincoln, when he tried to sell the clothing. The gibbet post was made from an old oak tree. This was later cut up by local people and the wood used, among other things, to make a tobacco bowl which is now in the Guildhall Museum collection. A section of the post was used as a gatepost by a farmer in Spotfield Lane, off Ralph's Lane.
SIR JOHN TAVERNER
Taverner Road; 1490-1545; organist, composer, choirmaster
Pishey Thompson does not mention John Taverner in his history of Boston, which is very surprising bearing in mind that the musician held two important posts during his time spent in the town. He was born in or around Boston but nothing is known about his early life. However there is evidence that he was an organist in St Botolph's Church sometime during the period 1500 to 1525; possibly at some time a visiting organist. Some of his compositions were found among MSS belonging to Henry VIII. These were probably written for the Chapel Royal during the years 1515 to 1525 and suggest that he may have lived in London during this period. In 1524 he became Clerk-fellow at Collegiate Church Choir in Tatterhall. In 1526 he became Master of Choristers at Cardinal College, Oxford. He was at his most creative and prolific while holding these two positions. He became involved in a minor scandal during the new Lutheran movement in 1527. Although he was exonerated he left the college in 1530 owing, largely, to the lack of demand for church music during the Reformation. There is no record of any other musical activity after this date. Little is known about his whereabouts for the next six years, but in 1537 he became a new member of the Corpus Christi Guild in Boston and he was a moderately prosperous minor landowner. He is listed as having a wife, Rose Parrowe, a widow with two daughters. In 1538 he began working for Thomas Cromwell and was a passionate advocate of the church's separation from Rome. However he later opposed Cromwell when the latter began to seize property owned by the church to be given to the monarchy. In 1539 he wrote to Cromwell to try to persuade him not to divest the religious houses of Boston of their land and possessions. Because of these disputes he resigned from his position in 1540. He then became the treasurer of the Corpus Christi Guild in Boston, a post he held for three years. After 1543 all records of the Guild ceased and Boston became a borough two years later in 1545. Taverner became an alderman of the borough at this time but died three months after his appointment. He is buried beneath the tower in St Botolph's Church.