Back in medieval times Grimsby was an important port but when the port began to silt up it lost its raison d’etre and slowly began to lose its population. By 1790 the people who lived there numbered something between 900 and 1500 souls, of which 300 hundred were Freemen, who held all the power. It still was able to elect 2 members of parliament, this at the time when Manchester, a thriving city had none. Grimsby had become a rotten borough.
Situated on a corner of the Lincolnshire coast with the wide river Humber to the north, it was at the end of the line. A toll road was opened around 1765 which gave better access to its rural hinterland but in 1766 John Wesley visited the town recalling that it had once been one of the largest town in Britain but was now no more than a middling village. A village where starvation was the biggest killer.However, there were also signs of optimism; a new town hall had been built in 1780 and new docks were being planned.
This is the setting of my new novel which begins in 1798. I have no title as yet and would welcome suggestions. The story is about a boy plucked from poverty and illiteracy to live a life where stern religious principles guide him but then threaten to destroy his family. The backdrop is Grimsby, how a starving village in 1780 became the largest fishing port in the world one hundred years later.