Famous connections

Famous Connections

The American Connection

Modern America took root on the banks of the James River at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, a decade before the Pilgrim Fathers founded Plymouth in Massachusetts.

Follow in the steps of Lincolnshire soldier of fortune Capt John Smith who led the Jamestown settlers' and become president of Virginia. Visit Willoughby, his birthplace, and Louth where he went to school or red-bricked Tattershall Castle, one of the earliest brick buildings in England, where Smith learnt horsemanship,

Alford - a lovely market town with a magnificent Manor House - has connections with not only Capt Smith, but also Anne Hutchinson, the famous female preacher and founder of Rhode Island, and Thomas Paine, author of the influential "Rights of Man" and who helped inspire the American revolution.

Boston, capital of the Fens, is the location of the first failed attempt by the Mayflower Pilgrim Fathers to flee England in 1602 and said to have been imprisoned at Boston Guildhall, now a museum. It was also home to preacher John Cotton who sought religious freedom in America - later founding the city of Boston, Massachusetts. A memorial in St Botolph's Church celebrates the five men from the town who became early governors of Massachusetts

The Pilgrim Fathers finally fled England in 1608 from north Lincolnshire and as well as a memorial stone close to the actual departure spot, Immingham Museum also has a small exhibition on the Pilgrims.


The Australian Connection

Re-discover the roots of a nation by retracing the footsteps of men who helped put Australia on the map... literally.

Navigator and cartographer Matthew Flinders, who named Australia, was born and brought up here, one reason why the city of Lincoln is twinned with Port Lincoln, Australia.

Fellow early settlers - such as explorers Flinders and George Bass and colonial administrator John Franklin - all came from Lincolnshire, as did Horncastle explorer and naturalist Sir Joseph Banks who joined Captain James Cook on a voyage around the world in 1768.

St Marys Church in Donington hosts a display dedicated to Flinders while the market place of Franklin's hometown of Spilsby is dominated by a statue of the explorer.

Each year Australia is commemorated by local folk with the annual Great Australian Breakfast held each January while in March a service for Flinders' birthday is staged in Lincoln Cathedral. While in Lincoln, visit the Sir Joseph Banks Conservatory, a tropical conservatory commemorating the species collected by him on Cook's voyage to Australia.


Alfred Tennyson

"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield"...

These were words from Lincolnshire-born Alfred Lord Tennyson, one of England's most popular poets, engraved at the London 2012 Olympic village.

Follow in his footsteps on the Tennyson Trail and be inspired by countryside that spurred many of the Victorian poet's works. The trail through Lincolnshire's rolling landscapes includes Somersby, where Tennyson was born and raised.

Try out The Water Rail Way walk with innovative sculptures dotted along its path, including some inspired by Tennyson's words, or visit 18th century Gunby Hall near to Burgh le Marsh, said to be Tennyson's 'haunt of ancient peace',

Find out more at The Tennyson Research Centre at Lincoln Central Library, the most significant collection relating to Tennyson in the world.


Sir Isaac Newton

And the art of science? Lincolnshire has close connections to the greatest scientist of his era, a great British inventor and the man who discovered gravity.

Sir Isaac Newton was born and brought up at Woolsthorpe Manor near Grantham and today visitors can discover more about Newton and his discoveries at this 17th-century farmhouse - including mathematic graffiti that he scribbled on walls.

In the grounds see the famous apple tree that inspired his thoughts on gravity.


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