Remembering Thomas Parry

Local historian Paul Mould.
Local historian Paul Mould.

Take a look back to Boston’s bygone years with local historian Paul Mould.

TODAY Thomas Parry is remembered mainly because of the Parry Gold Medal that is presented to the year’s best scholar at Boston Grammar School. When he died, Thomas Parry left money to provide this medal every year. He also left provision for a pupil from a primary school every four years to go to Boston Grammar School.In 1944 I was that lucky pupil.

Thomas Parry won an election on three occasions to represent Boston in Parliament. At the time Boston had two members.

In 1865 John Wingfield Malcolm, a Conservative, headed the poll and Thomas Barry just beat fellow Liberal, Meaburn Staniland into second place.

Mr Staniland, however, petitioned the result, alleging that many voters had been bribed by Mr Parry. Eleven votes for Mr Parry were scrutinised and disallowed, so he was unseated and Mr Staniland surprised everyone by accepting the Chiltern Hundreds; and in the resulting by-election Mr Parry was returned unopposed. A General Election was called in November, 1868 and, whereas only 1,600 voted in Boston in 1865, this time 4,300 voted and two Conservatives were elected. In the General Election of February, 1874, the first election to be held by secret ballot, the two liberals, W. James Ingram and Thomas Parry defeated the two Conservatives, John Wingfield Malcolm and Thomas Collins Jnr.