Boston, on the east coast of England, was once a thriving medieval seaport, second only to London in terms of exports to Europe through the merchants of the Hanseatic League. Wool was the chief commodity and, in the 14 th century it is estimated that over 3 million fleeces of the finest quality wool were exported every year. Merchants gambled on the future price of wool with bids being placed on a giant chequered board, from which comes our modern title ‘Chancellor of the Exchequer’.
The town is dominated by the tower of St. Botolph’s church, popularly known as ‘Boston Stump’ and it is the largest purpose-built parish church in England. In the early 17 th century, a group of religious dissenters tried to depart from Boston to find religious freedom in Holland but they were arrested and imprisoned in the town Guildhall.
Later they were released and eventually sailed from Plymouth as ‘The Pilgrim Fathers’ on ‘The Mayflower’ and founded Plymouth, America in 1620.
Many, often wealthy Bostonians were also inspired by the Preacher, John Cotton, to sail to America. These Puritans, who wanted to purify the Church of England, sailed in 1630 on the Winthrop Fleet and founded Boston, Massachusetts on September 7th, honouring Boston’s part in the great adventure.”