Dunstable is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 3,179 at the 2010 census.
Dunstable was first settled in 1656 and was officially incorporated in 1673. It is likely named after the town of Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England, home of Edward Tyng, the town's first settler. The original township of Dunstable, granted in 1661, consisted of two hundred square miles, including the Massachusetts towns of Dunstable, Pepperell, Townsend and Tyngsborough, the New Hampshire towns of Hudson, Nashua and Hollis, and parts of other towns as well. Increases in population leading to subsections becoming independent towns and the solidification of the northern boundary of Massachusetts in 1740 placed the northern part of Dunstable (present day Nashua) in New Hampshire, so the southern part remains the Dunstable of today.
Today, Dunstable, in the face of urban sprawl, has held onto a largely rural character.
New Hampshire split
Until 1740, Dunstable was entirely a Massachusetts town, but the King in Council in that year fixed the province line between New Hampshire and Massachusetts so that it happened to split Dunstable between Middlesex County, Massachusetts and Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. In 1741, the new province line (eventually the state line) was run between the two provinces. In 1836, the New Hampshire legis- lature changed its Dunstable town's name to Nashua, effective on January 1, 1837.