Boston, Lincolnshire: The Pilgrims and the Thread to America

Free Entry and running from now until 2021 and beyond. 

With new exhibitions, including kindly loaned material, and interpretation of these new stories there’s so much to discover – this really is just the start of this new exhibition as we continue our research going forward to 2030.

New and exciting information has been uncovered and existing records have been pieced together in the lead up to the 2020 ‘Mayflower 400’ anniversary of the foundation of America that completely changes the story of the Pilgrims in Boston. 

Original archive documents and new research, now on display in Boston Guildhall, has revealed a story of illicit worship, intrigue and influence in the town with a Boston draper, Leonard Beetson, central to unravelling the threads that make the story so compelling.

 Luke Skerritt of Boston Guildhall Museum knew of a document in Lincolnshire Archives that related to the arrest of the Pilgrims in Boston in 1607 and arranged to view it. It was this document and the leads it provided which proved to be the first step in uncovering the story. Instead of a brief relationship with Boston it was actually the case that the Pilgrims were in the town for three months before their arrest and that those arrested were incredibly influential individuals such as WIlliam Brewster, Richard Clyfton and Thomas Helwys as well as the Boston draper Leonard Beetson.  This showed a completely different relationship between the Pilgrims and Boston, accessing other archival documents and new research the story began to unravel.

Beetson, the Boston Draper, weaves two of Boston’s most influential American connections together… he is the thread between the Pilgrims and the foundation of Boston Massachusetts by the congregation of charismatic Boston vicar John Cotton.  Arrested alongside the famous Pilgrims he chose to stay in Boston and became a respected business man and eventually a town councillor. He kept his habit of not conforming to religious convention though and became a close friend of the charismatic and radical, puritan vicar of Boston, John Cotton who influenced 1 in every 10 Bostonians to leave for America and found Boston Massachusetts in 1630.

 Not only have these stories been revealed but further intrigue comes linking them with a hand written letter from Edward Winslow one of the most famous of the Pilgrims to a Clerk of the local Courts shining a new light on an unsuspected network between Boston and Scrooby, Nottinghamshire where many of the Pilgrims came from.

 The new exhibition on display at Boston Guildhall showcases these stories and features as it’s highlight the documents that have helped reveal them which are on public display together for the very first time. 


Thursday 23rd January 2020

Showcase Networking Boston

10am – 12pm

Booking is essential and general entry is not permitted so you must book a showcase table to attend the event. Places are limited.   Just £20 per business.   You can book via the website, or by emailing  

Showcase Networking is the new brain child of the creator of the largest networking events in Cambridgeshire and it is now coming to Boston, Lincolnshire for 2020, and sponsored by Visit Boston UK, Boston Borough Council

Originally created in 2017 the events took Peterborough by storm and grew at a rapid speed, with all 2018 events attracting over 100 businesses at each event . As a result, many new connections were made within Cambridgeshire, with thousands of pounds of business to follow and taking the crown for the largest networking events in the County.

The concept is simple, low cost and low maintenance.
You will be allocated a showcase table at the venue which will be your exhibition space to display your company leaflets, business cards, and promotions on. You can then get networking around the venue in a casual environment.

We recommend two people from each business attend, one to sit at your table and one to walk round. However, this isn’t always possible for businesses, so even if you come on your own you will be given a full delegates list with contact details on, in case you don’t see everyone you want to.

Thursday 5th March 2020

The Mind Reader Fundraising Night with Dean Odell

Doors open from 6:30pm with the evening beginning from 7pm.

Join us for a fantastic fundraising evening from Heritage Lincolnshire here at Boston Guildhall Museum on Thursday 5th March 2020 from 7pm with Dean Odell.

The Mind Reader is a live interactive show where Dean will use his skills of psychology and magic to seemingly tap into your minds and read your thoughts at will!
Dean wants to put mystery back into your life, so put your phone away and spend an evening in the company of a mind reader!
You will take part in a number of seemingly impossible mental feats which will leave you amazed.

Dean Odell is a psychological illusionist, he uses his skills of psychology and magic to seemingly tap into people’s minds, influence their decisions and read their thoughts at will!

Tickets are £12 for Heritage Lincolnshire Members, and £14 for non-members, and they can be purchased online ready for Christmas presents, or a night out!  Please find the link on our Facebook page for tickets. Boston Guildhall Museum

For more information please email or call 01529 461499

Sunday 15th March

Boston Guildhall Wedding Fayre!

10:30am – 3:30pm

Free Admission

Boston Guildhall would like to invite you to attend our Wedding Fayre on Sunday 15th March 2020!

Come and join us from 10:30am through to 3:30pm when you can view the building and find out more about our packages, visit stands and think of ideas for your special day.

With a pop up cafe on site to offer refreshments while you browse, there will be lots of time to relax and enjoy Boston Guildhall as you think about your special day.

We will be available to answer any of questions, and I am sure that the other wedding services who join us will be more than happy to discuss your day with you too.

All of the businesses standing at this event will be shared on this event post and on our website so please keep taking a peep at who will be with us.

If you are a business and would like to join us at this event please contact for an application form.

Photographs courtesy of Haydn Huston


Saturday 9th May 2020

Boston Model Fairground Show

Free Event – doors open 10:30am – 3:30pm, last admission 3pm.

Come and join us as Boston Model Fairground Show joins us for a forth year here at Boston Guildhall.

With miniature delights and ‘all the fun of the fair’ these creations give you an insight into some of the larger rides that you’ll see at the Boston Mayfair this year plus some that have been in years gone by.

The individuals who make these models do so for pleasure and look forward to sharing them with you – we have seen year on year increased visitor numbers at this event and the exhibitors try to offer new layouts throughout the building when they join us.

Why not stop and relax with a cup of tea and a slice of cake at the pop up café, draw your own design for a fairground ride and maybe, if you’re feeling brave…. step out into Boston Market Place and have a ride on the real thing!


Boston Guildhall is available for Private Hire & is a Licensed Venue for Weddings.

If you would like to know more please contact

Wedding Venue, Meeting Hire, Corporate Functions, Conferences, Wakes, Tours, Afternoon Tea, Paranormal Investigations, Exhibitions, Museum Collections, School Trips, Presentations and more….  01205 365954

Boston Guildhall, South Street, PE21 6HT

Our normal opening hours are Wed, Thurs, Fri & Sat 10:30am – 3:30pm