Boston, 1086-1225: A Medieval Boom Town

by Stephen H Rigby SLHA

The 12th and early 13th centuries were a period when England’s trade was growing and its towns were expanding.  The town of Boston, Lincolnshire, was in the forefront of these developments.  In 1086 Boston was a village that was not even given a separate entry in the Domesday Book but by the start of the 13th century the new town of Boston was one of the leading ports in the country and was the site of one of England’s major fairs.  Yet this crucial period in Boston’s history has been neglected by historians.

This new study examines the town’s medieval layout, the history of its religious houses, the nature of its regional and overseas trade, the rise of its fair, the role of lordship in the town’s success and the structure of its administration.  It is aimed not only at readers with an interest in Lincolnshire history but also at scholars and students of medieval economic and social history in general.

Stephen H Rigby is Emeritus Professor of medieval social and economic history at the University of Manchester.  He has published widely on medieval English history, on the towns of medieval Lincolnshire, and in particular on the development of medieval Boston.  His books include English Society in the Later Middle Ages, Medieval Grimsby, Growth and Decline, and The Overseas Trade of Boston in the Reign of Richard II.

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