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. 


Sunday 24th November

Boston Sinfonia Present

Doors Open 2:30pm, seats to be taken for performance at 3pm.

Adult Tickets – £12 in advance or £15 on the door, children under 18 free

Tickets may be purchased in advance from the Gift Shop in St Botolph’s Church, Monday to Saturday, 10am -3.30pm 

It is with pleasure that we welcome back Boston Sinfonia to perform here at Boston Guildhall.  The afternoon performance is as follows:

Grieg Two Nordic Melodies

Grieg Holberg Suite

Beethoven Cavatina (Quartet op 130)

Britten Simple Symphony

The Nordic first part of this concert presents familiar and well loved works by Grieg. Ending with Britten’s youthful Simple Symphony and Beethoven’s Cavatina, one of his most profound movements, a foretaste of 2020’s Beethoven celebrations. Beethoven reportedly said he was in tears as he wrote this work!     

Saturday 30th November

Jon Lawrence – Good Grief Talk – Five Deserts in Search of my Father and I

Arrival from 12:30pm, seats to be taken for 1pm

Tickets available on the door – £5 per person

or please contact us at if you wish to purchase your tickets in advance.

Author, musician and adventurer Jon Lawrence performs a one-man show detailing his remarkable treks through five deserts on five continents to grieve his father and raise money for a cancer charity. 

The show includes entertaining anecdotes, brand new music, as well as photographs and video footage from his journey.

Don’t miss this poignant, yet funny, account of one man’s battle to understand his grief and his sometimes turbulent relationship with his father. 

“Moving and uplifting” –


Friday 5th & Saturday 7th December

Victorian Murder Mystery – The Curse of the Cloak of Calcutta!!

Arrival from 6:30pm, seats to be taken for 7pm

Tickets advance purchase only – £25 per person

London, 1876 –  On the eve of Queen Victoria’s creation as Empress of India, a body is discovered in Amsterdam Road, at the heart of London’s Docklands. The Metropolitan Police force call in the renowned lady detective, Mrs Paschal. Can she uphold her reputation as the first – and only – woman detective, by solving the mystery? – and is there a link with the fabled curse of the cloak of Calcutta?

With a bar on site drinks will be available to purchase from arrival and through the evening.

With a Victorian Christmas Style dinner, serving from a tremendously decadent buffet table laced with Victorianesque crackers and cards the following menu is to accompany the evening.

Sauté Chicken with Tarragon Sauce or Venison Casserole with Port or Roasted Cauliflower and Beetroot – all to be served with seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes.

Followed by a choice of Chocolate and Chestnut Roulade or Tipsy Trifle

Mince Pies and Coffee

Menu choices to be confirmed on booking.  To book your table or request further information please contact or pop by to purchase your tickets during our normal opening hours.  If you have dietary requirements please could you advise us when booking your tickets.

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

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