April 30, 2023 9.00 am This story is over 14 months old

How Boston, Lincolnshire, compares to Boston, Massachusetts

They share a name but not much else

One is a historic English town which was one of the country’s busiest ports – the other is an American city which is home to Harvard University and the Red Sox.

The two Bostons of Lincolnshire and Massachusetts share a name, but are very different places.

We took a look how life is for our cousins in the Boston across the pond and their very different stories.


Lincolnshire: Unclear, as not mentioned in the 1068 Domesday Book, possibly around the 11th century

Massachusetts: Founded in 1630 by English Puritans who called the area New England. (Native people had lived in the area for several thousand years.)


Lincolnshire: 45,000

Massachusetts: 650,000

Beacon Hill, Boston | Photo: Adobe Stock

Name origin

Lincolnshire: St Botolph, an English abbott, who is remembered in St Botolph’s Church – also known as the Boston Stump. Botolph’s Town was eventually shortened into Bos-ton.

Massachusetts: Isaac Johnson, one of the Puritan leaders, named the new American settlement after his Lincolnshire hometown.

Sports teams

Lincolnshire: The town has two non-league football teams in Boston United (The Pilgrims) and Boston Town (The Poachers). It is also home to Boston Rugby Football Club, the Boston Barracudas speedway team and Witham Sailing Club.

Massachusetts: Boston Red Sox (baseball), Boston Celtics (basketball), New England Patriots (NFL), Boston Bruins (Ice hockey) and New England Revolution (traditional football – aka soccer).

Boston’s beautiful skyline | Photo: Adobe Stock

Political claim to fame

Lincolnshire: The town with the highest Leave vote in the EU referendum

Massachusetts: The birthplace of the American revolution, which started with the Boston Tea Party

Famous people

Lincolnshire: Sir Joseph Banks (explorer and botanist), Robert Webb (comedian), Professor Jonathan Van-Tam (public health expert), George Bass (explorer)

Massachusetts: Benjamin Franklin (Founding Father and inventor), Edgar Allen Poe (writer) and actors Edward Norton, Uma Thurman, Mark Wahlberg and Chris Evans. 

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite


Lincolnshire: A major port and fishing centre in the 1800s, now focused on food production and logistics

Massachusetts: Its location on the east coast made it ideal for textile mills and shipbuilding. Today known for world-class universities including Harvard and MIT

The Boston Marathons

One unifying factor is their marathons, which both Bostons hold on the same day (April 16 this year.)

The US version, held 127 times, is one of the most popular in the world with top athletes, attracting an elite field each year along with around 35,000 enthusiasts. The UK version is naturally smaller, but offers a scenic route through Lincolnshire villages.

Although thousands of miles apart, competitors can run while feeling close to their brethren on the other side of the Atlantic.

Photo: Steve Smailes for Lincolnshire Reporter

Read also – Lincoln, UK vs Lincoln, USA – which is better?