Place:Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England

Alt namesLincolnsource: from redirect
Lincoliasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 172
Lincoliaesource: Domesday Book (1985) p 172
Lindumsource: Times Atlas of World History (1993) p 348
Lindum Coloniasource: Blue Guide: England (1980) p 516
TypeCity, Borough (county)
Coordinates53.234°N 0.539°W
Located inLincolnshire, England
Also located inKesteven, England     (1889 - 1974)
See alsoLincoln District, Lincolnshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
Contained Places
Canwick Road Cemetery ( 1856 - )
Newport Cemetery ( 1856 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Lincoln is a cathedral city, non-metropolitan district, and the county town of Lincolnshire, England. The Lincoln district had a 2012 population of 94,600. The 2011 census gave the urban area of Lincoln, including North Hykeham and Waddington, a population of 115,000.

Roman Lindum Colonia developed from an Iron Age settlement on the River Witham. Landmarks include Lincoln CathedralEnglish Gothic architecture, for over 200 years the world's tallest building – and the 11th-century Norman Lincoln Castle. The city hosts the University of Lincoln, Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln City FC and Lincoln United FC. Lincoln is the largest settlement in Lincolnshire with the towns of Grimsby second largest and Scunthorpe third.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Earliest history: Lincoln

The earliest origins of Lincoln can be traced to remains of an Iron Age settlement of round wooden dwellings, discovered by archaeologists in 1972, which have been dated to the first century BCE. It was built by a deep pool (now Brayford Pool) in the River Witham at the foot of a large hill, on which the Normans later built Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle).

The name Lincoln may come from this period, when the settlement is thought to have been named in the Brittonic language of Iron Age Britain's Celtic inhabitants as Lindon, "The Pool", presumably referring to Brayford Pool (compare the etymology of Dublin, from the Gaelic dubh linn "black pool"). The extent of the original settlement is unknown, as its remains are buried beneath the later Roman and medieval ruins and modern Lincoln.

Roman history: Lindum Colonia

The Romans conquered this part of Britain in 48 CE and soon built a legionary fortress high on a hill overlooking the natural lake, Brayford Pool, formed by the widening of the River Witham, and the northern end of the Fosse Way Roman road (A46). Celtic Lindon was later Latinised to Lindum and the title Colonia added when it became settled by army veterans.

The conversion to a colonia occurred when the legion moved on to York (Eboracum) in 71 CE. Lindum colonia or more fully, Colonia Domitiana Lindensium, after the then Emperor Domitian, was set up within the walls of the hilltop fortress by extending it with about an equal area, down the hillside to the waterside.

It became a flourishing settlement accessible from the sea through the River Trent and through the River Witham. On the basis of a patently corrupt list of British bishops said to have attended the 314 Council of Arles, the city is often seen as having been the capital of the province of Flavia Caesariensis, formed during the late third century Diocletian Reforms. Subsequently, the town and its waterways declined. By the close of the fifth century, it was largely deserted, although some occupation continued under a Praefectus CivitatisSaint Paulinus visited a man holding this office in Lincoln in 629 CE.

AD 410–1066

Germanic tribes from the North Sea area settled Lincolnshire in the fifth to sixth centuries. The Latin Lindum Colonia shrank in Old English to Lindocolina, then to Lincylene.

After the first Viking raids, the city again rose to some importance with overseas trading ties. In Viking times Lincoln had its own mint, by far the most important in Lincolnshire and by the end of the tenth century, comparable in output to that of York. After establishment of the Danelaw in 886, Lincoln became one of the Five East Midland Boroughs. Excavations at Flaxengate reveal that an area deserted since Roman times received timber-framed buildings fronting a new street system in about 900. Lincoln underwent an economic explosion with the settlement of the Danes. Like York, the Upper City seems to have had purely administrative functions up to 850 or so, while the Lower City, down the hill towards the River Witham, may have been largely deserted. By 950, however, the Witham banks were developed, the Lower City resettled and the suburb of Wigford emerging as a trading centre. In 1068, two years after the Norman conquest of England, William I ordered Lincoln Castle to be built on the site of the old Roman settlement, for the same strategic reasons and controlling the same road.


Construction of the first Lincoln Cathedral within a close or walled precinct facing the castle began when the see was removed from the quiet backwater of Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. It was completed in 1092 and rebuilt after a fire, but succumbed to an earthquake in 1185. The rebuilt minster, enlarged eastwards several times, was on a grand scale, its crossing tower crowned by a spire reputedly Europe's highest at . When complete, the central spire is widely accepted to have succeeded the Great Pyramids of Egypt as the world's tallest man-made structure.

The Lincoln bishops were among the magnates of medieval England. The Diocese of Lincoln, the largest in England, had more monasteries than the rest of England put together, and the diocese was supported by large estates. When Magna Carta was drawn up in 1215, one of the witnesses was Hugh of Wells, Bishop of Lincoln. One of only four surviving originals of the document is preserved in Lincoln Castle.

Among the famous bishops of Lincoln were Robert Bloet, the magnificent justiciar to Henry I, Hugh of Avalon, the cathedral builder canonised as St Hugh of Lincoln, Robert Grosseteste, the 13th century intellectual, Henry Beaufort, chancellor of Henry V and Henry VI, Thomas Rotherham, a politician deeply involved in the Wars of the Roses, Philip Repyngdon, chaplain to Henry IV and defender of Wycliffe, and Thomas Wolsey, the lord chancellor of Henry VIII. Theologian William de Montibus headed the cathedral school and was its chancellor until he died in 1213.

The administrative centre was the Bishop's Palace, the third element in the central complex. When built in the late 12th century by Hugh of Lincoln, the Bishop's Palace was one of the most important buildings in England. Its East Hall over a vaulted undercroft is the earliest surviving example of a roofed domestic hall. The chapel range and entrance tower were built by Bishop William of Alnwick, who modernised the palace in the 1430s. Both Henry VIII and James I were guests there. The palace was sacked in 1648 by royalist troops during the civil war.

Medieval town

During the Anarchy, in 1141 Lincoln was the site of a battle between King Stephen and the forces of Empress Matilda, led by her illegitimate half-brother Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester. After fierce fighting in the city streets, Stephen's forces were defeated and Stephen himself captured and taken to Bristol.

By 1150, Lincoln was among the wealthiest towns in England, based economically on cloth and wool exported to Flanders; Lincoln weavers had set up a guild in 1130 to produce Lincoln Cloth, especially the fine dyed "scarlet" and "green", whose reputation was later enhanced by the legendary Robin Hood wearing woollens of Lincoln green. In the Guildhall, surmounting the city gate called the Stonebow, the ancient Council Chamber contains Lincoln's civic insignia, a fine collection of civic regalia.

Outside the precincts of cathedral and castle, the old quarter clustered round the Bailgate and down Steep Hill to the High Bridge, whose half-timbered housing juts out over the river. There are three ancient churches: St Mary le Wigford and St Peter at Gowts, both 11th century in origin, and St Mary Magdalene, from the late 13th century. The last is an unusual English dedication to a saint whose cult was coming into vogue on the European continent at the time.

Lincoln was home to one of five main Jewish communities in England, well established before it was officially noted in 1154. In 1190, anti-Semitic riots that started in King's Lynn, Norfolk, spread to Lincoln; the Jewish community took refuge with royal officials, but their homes were plundered. The so-called House of Aaron has a two-storey street frontage that is essentially 12th century and a nearby Jew's House likewise bears witness to the Jewish population. In 1255, the affair called "The Libel of Lincoln" in which prominent Lincoln Jews, accused of ritual murder of a Christian boy (Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln in medieval folklore) were sent to the Tower of London and 18 executed.[1] The Jews were all expelled in 1290.[1]

Thirteenth-century Lincoln was England's third largest city and a favourite of more than one king. In the First Barons' War it was caught in the strife between the king and rebel barons allied with the French. Here and at Dover the French and Rebel army was defeated. Thereafter the town was pillaged for having sided with Prince Louis. In the Second Barons' War, of 1266, the disinherited rebels attacked the Jews of Lincoln, ransacked the synagogue and burned the records that registered debts.

Some historians have the city's fortunes declining from the 14th century, but others argue that it remained buoyant in trade and communications well into the 15th. In 1409, the city became a county in its own right: the County of the City of Lincoln. Additional rights were then conferred by successive monarchs, including those of an assay town (controlling metal manufacturing, for example). The oldest surviving secular drama in English, The Interlude of the Student and the Girl (c. 1300), may have originated from Lincoln.

Lincoln's coat of arms, not officially endorsed by the College of Arms, is believed to date from the 14th century. It is Argent on a cross gules a fleur-de-lis or. The cross is believed to derive from the Diocese. The fleur-de-lis symbolises the cathedral dedication to the Virgin Mary. The motto is CIVITAS LINCOLNIA ("City of Lincoln").

16th century

The Dissolution of the Monasteries cut Lincoln's main source of diocesan income and dried up the network of patronage controlled by the bishop. Seven monasteries closed in the city alone, as did several nearby abbeys, which further diminished the region's political power. A symbol of Lincoln's economic and political decline came in 1549, when the cathedral's great spire rotted and collapsed and was not replaced. However, the comparative poverty of post-medieval Lincoln preserved pre-medieval structures that would probably have been lost under more prosperous conditions.

Civil War

Between 1642 and 1651 in the English Civil War, Lincoln was on a frontier between the Royalist and Parliamentary forces and changed hands several times. Many buildings were badly damaged. Lincoln now had no major industry and no easy access to the sea. It suffered as the rest of the country was beginning to prosper in the early 18th century, travellers often commenting on what had essentially become a one-street town.[2]

Georgian age

By the Georgian era, Lincoln's fortunes began to pick up, thanks in part to the Agricultural Revolution. Reopening of the Foss Dyke canal eased imports of coal and other raw materials vital to industry.

Along with the economic growth of Lincoln in this period, the city boundaries were spread to include the West Common. To this day, an annual Beat the Boundaries walk takes place along its perimeter.

Industrial Revolution

Coupled with the arrival of railway links, Lincoln boomed again during the Industrial Revolution, and several famous companies arose, such as Ruston's, Clayton's, Proctor's and William Foster's. Lincoln began to excel in heavy engineering, by building locomotives, steam shovels and all manner of heavy machinery.

A permanent military presence came with 1857 completion of the "Old Barracks" (now held by the Museum of Lincolnshire Life). They were replaced by the "New Barracks" (now Sobraon Barracks) in 1890, when Lincoln Drill Hall in Broadgate also opened.

20th century

Lincoln was hit by typhoid in November 1904 – August 1905 caused by polluted drinking water from Hartsholme Lake and the River Witham. Over 1,000 people contracted the disease and fatalities totalled 113, including the man responsible for the city's water supply, Liam Kirk of Baker Crescent. Near the beginning of the epidemic, Dr Alexander Cruickshank Houston installed a chlorine disinfection system just ahead of the poorly operating, slow sand filter, to kill the fatal bacteria. Chlorination of the water continued until 1911, when a new supply was implemented. Lincoln's chlorination episode was an early use of chlorine to disinfect a water supply. Westgate Water Tower was built to provide new supplies.

In the two world wars, Lincoln switched to war production. The first ever tanks were invented, designed and built in Lincoln by William Foster & Co. in the First World War and population growth provided more workers for greater expansion. The tanks were tested on land now covered by Tritton Road in the south-west suburbs. In the Second World War, Lincoln produced an array of war goods: tanks, aircraft, munitions and military vehicles.

Ruston & Hornsby produced diesel engines for ships and locomotives, then by teaming up with former colleagues of Frank Whittle and Power Jets Ltd, in the early 1950s, R & H (which became RGT) opened the first production line for gas turbine engines for land-based and sea-based energy production. Its success made it the city's largest single employer, providing over 5,000 jobs in its factory and research facilities, making it a rich takeover target for industrial conglomerates. It was subsumed by English Electric in November 1966, which was then bought by GEC in 1968, with diesel engine production being transferred to the Ruston Diesels Division in Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire, at the former Vulcan Foundry.

Pelham Works merged with Alstom of France in the late 1980s and was then bought in 2003 by Siemens of Germany as Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery. This includes what is left of Napier Turbochargers. Plans came early in 2008 for a new plant outside the city at Teal Park, North Hykeham. Still, Siemens made large redundancies and moved jobs to Sweden and the Netherlands. The factory now employs 1300. R & H's former Beevor Foundry is now owned by Hoval Group, making industrial boilers (wood chip). The Aerospace Manufacturing Facility (AMF) in Firth Road passed from Alstom Aerospace Ltd to ITP Engines UK in January 2009.

Lincoln's second largest private employer is James Dawson and Son, a belting and hose maker founded in the late 19th century. Its two sites are in Tritton Road. The main one, next to the University of Lincoln, used Lincoln's last coal-fired boiler until it was replaced by gas in July 2018.

New suburbs appeared after 1945, but heavy industry declined towards the end of the 20th century. Much development, notably around the Brayford area, has followed the construction of the University of Lincoln's Brayford Campus, which opened in 1996. In 2012, Bishop Grosseteste teaching college was also awarded university status.

Research Tips

Lincolnshire is very low-lying and land had to be drained for agriculture to be successful. The larger drainage channels, many of which are parallel to each other, became boundaries between parishes. Many parishes are long and thin for this reason.

There is much fenland in Lincolnshire, particularly in the Boston and Horncastle areas. Fenlands tended to be extraparochial before the mid 1850s, and although many sections were identified with names and given the title "civil parish", little information has been found about them. Many appear to be abolished in 1906, but the parish which adopts them is not given in A Vision of Britain through Time. Note the WR category Lincolnshire Fenland Settlements which is an attempt to organize them into one list.

From 1889 until 1974 Lincolnshire was divided into three administrative counties: Parts of Holland, Parts of Kesteven and Parts of Lindsey. These formal names do not fit with modern grammatical usage, but that is what they were, nonetheless. In 1974 the northern section of Lindsey, along with the East Riding of Yorkshire, became the short-lived county of Humberside. In 1996 Humberside was abolished and the area previously in Lincolnshire was made into the two "unitary authorities" of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. The remainder of Lincolnshire was divided into "non-metropolitan districts" or "district municipalities" in 1974. Towns, villages and parishes are all listed under Lincolnshire, but the present-day districts are also given so that places in this large county can more easily be located and linked to their wider neighbourhoods. See the WR placepage Lincolnshire, England and the smaller divisions for further explanation.

  • Maps provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time show all the parishes and many villages and hamlets. (Small local reorganization of parishes took place in the 1930s led to differences between the latter two maps.):
  • FindMyPast now has a large collection of Lincolnshire baptisms, banns, marriages and burials now available to search by name, year, place and parent's names. This is a pay website. (blog dated 16 Sep 2016)
  • GENUKI's page on Lincolnshire's Archive Service gives addresses, phone numbers, webpages for all archive offices, museums and libraries in Lincolnshire which may store old records and also presents a list entitled "Hints for the new researcher" which may include details of which you are not aware. These suggestions are becoming more and more outdated, but there's no telling what may be expected in a small library.
  • GENUKI also has pages of information on individual parishes, particularly ecclesiastical parishes. The author may just come up with morsels not supplied in other internet-available sources.
  • Deceased Online now has records for 11 cemeteries and two crematoria in Lincolnshire. This includes Grimsby's Scartho Road cemetery, Scartho Road crematorium, and Cleethorpes cemetery, council records for the City of Lincoln and Gainsborough, and older church records from The National Archives for St Michael's in Stamford, and St Mark's in Lincoln, dating back to 1707. This is a pay website.