Friday, 16 October 2009

Boynton - Turkeys before Thanksgiving

We spent 5 days just outside Bridlington on the East Coast of Yorkshire at a small village called Boynton. The local church is a fine Georgian building, probably about the fourth to be erected there with elements of the previous buildings - except the first which was built in the 11th century. From the photo of the interior, you can see that the altar is not at the end of the church, but set in a space with rather fine pillars enclosing the chancel. Behind this, a railing separates the mortuary chapel of a local family - the Stricklands.

So what about the turkeys?

William Strickland sailed to America with Cabot in the 16th century in search of gold. They didn't find gold but it is claimed (though I can't find anything to support the claim) that came back with the first turkeys to appear in England. So proud of this were the Stricklands that they adopted the turkey for their coat of arms in 1550 and a turkey appears on their monuments in the mortuary chapel.

The Lectern was actually installed in the 1930 in memory of Major Fred Strickland who was an engineer and involved in the development of motor car engines.

The family seems to have been populated by 'characters', including one who became a geologist in the 19th century and travelled as far afield as Africa and Asia in his search for fossils, only to be killed in a railway cutting near Gainsborough when he was too absorbed in the rock formations to notice the approach of a train!


  1. This is very interesting. I have some plates with the Strickland crest. Do you know the name of the Strickland who was a geologist?
    My mother (Dinah Strickland) lived at Boynton prior to her marriage and had a story about Walter (the ninth baronet) who is the most colorful member of the family that I have hear of. One day he appeared in the garden, borrowed half a crown and then disappeared. He was involved in the Czechoslovakian Independence movement(apparently learning the language) and died in Java. See for more - this corresponds to what I heard in the family.
    We used to have a huge wooden hammer given to Major (Philip) Strickland after he served in the royal Engineers in WWI.
    Samuel (Strickland) Wright

    1. How fascinating! It certainly sounds an interesting family. Apart from the turkey connection, the Stricklands are strangers to me.

      I love Walter and will certainly follow up the story.

      I'm in the process of moving most of this site to

      Now we are well and truly retired, I'm concentrating on that and not so much on this blog which will probably be retired eventually.


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