Hingham is a town in metropolitan Greater Boston on the South Shore of the U.S. state of Massachusetts in northern Plymouth County. At the 2010 census, the population was 22,157. Hingham is known for its colonial history and location on Boston Harbor. The town was named after Hingham, Norfolk, England, and was first settled by English colonists in 1633.
The Old Ship Church, Hingham
"History and Pride"
Location in Plymouth County in Massachusetts
|Settled||1633 (as Bare Cove)|
|Incorporated||September 2, 1635|
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||26.3 sq mi (68.1 km2)|
|• Land||22.2 sq mi (57.5 km2)|
|• Water||4.1 sq mi (10.6 km2)|
|Elevation||60 ft (18 m)|
|• Density||998/sq mi (385/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||339 / 781|
|GNIS feature ID||0618342|
The town of Hingham was dubbed "Bare Cove" by the first colonizing English in 1633, but two years later was incorporated as a town under the name "Hingham."  The land on which Hingham was settled was deeded to the English by the Wampanoag sachem Wompatuck in 1655. The town was within Suffolk County from its founding in 1643 until 1803, and Plymouth County from 1803 to the present. The eastern part of the town split off to become Cohasset in 1770. The town was named for Hingham, a village in the English county of Norfolk, East Anglia, whence most of the first colonists came, including Abraham Lincoln's ancestor Samuel Lincoln (1622–90), his first American ancestor, who came to Massachusetts in 1637. A statue of President Lincoln adorns the area adjacent to downtown Hingham Square.
Hingham was born of religious dissent. Many of the original founders were forced to flee their native village in Norfolk with both their vicars, Rev. Peter Hobart and Rev. Robert Peck, when they fell foul of the strict doctrines of Anglican England. Peck was known for what the eminent Norfolk historian Rev. Francis Blomefield called his "violent schismatical spirit." Peck lowered the chancel railing of the church, in accord with Puritan sentiment that the Anglican church of the day was too removed from its parishioners. He also antagonized ecclesiastical authorities with other forbidden practices.
Hobart, born in Hingham, Norfolk, in 1604 and, like Peck, a graduate of Magdalene College, Cambridge, sought shelter from the prevailing discipline of the high church among his fellow Puritans. The cost to those who emigrated was steep. They "sold their possessions for half their value," noted a contemporary account, "and named the place of their settlement after their natal town." (The cost to the place they left behind was also high: Hingham was forced to petition Parliament for aid, claiming that the departure of its most well-to-do citizens had left it hamstrung.)
While most of the early Hingham settlers came from Hingham and other nearby villages in East Anglia, a few Hingham settlers like Anthony Eames came from the West Country of England. The early settlers of Dorchester, Massachusetts, for instance, had come under the guidance of Rev. John White of Dorchester in Dorset, and some of them (like Eames) later moved to Hingham. Accounts from Hingham's earliest years indicate some friction between the disparate groups, culminating in a 1645 episode involving the town's "trainband", when some Hingham settlers supported Eames, and others supported Bozoan Allen, a prominent early Hingham settler and Hobart ally who came from King's Lynn in Norfolk, East Anglia. Prominent East Anglian Puritans like the Hobarts and the Cushings, for instance, were used to holding sway in matters of governance. Eventually the controversy became so heated that John Winthrop and Thomas Dudley were drawn into the fray; minister Hobart threatened to excommunicate Eames.
The bitter trainband controversy dragged on for several years, culminating in stiff fines. Eventually a weary Eames, who was in his mid-fifties when the controversy began and who had served Hingham as first militia captain, a selectman, and Deputy in the General Court, threw in the towel and moved to nearby Marshfield where he again served as Deputy and emerged as a leading citizen, despite his brush with the Hingham powers-that-be.
Although the town was incorporated in 1635, the colonists didn't get around to negotiating purchase from the Wampanoag, the Native American tribe in the region, until three decades later. On July 4, 1665, the tribe's chief sachem, Josiah Wompatuck, sold the township to Capt. Joshua Hobart (brother of Rev. Peter Hobart) and Ensign John Thaxter (father of Col. Samuel Thaxter), representatives of Hingham's colonial residents. Having occupied the land for 30 years, the Englishmen presumably felt entitled to a steep discount.
The sum promised Josiah Wompatuck for the land encompassing Hingham was to be paid by two Hingham landowners: Lieut. John Smith and Deacon John Leavitt, who had been granted 12 acres (49,000 m2) on Hingham's Turkey Hill earlier that year. Now the two men were instructed to deliver payment for their 12-acre (49,000 m2) grant to Josiah the chief Sachem. The grant to Smith and Leavitt—who together bought other large tracts from the Native Americans for themselves and their partners—was "on condition that they satisfy all the charge about the purchase of the town's land of Josiah—Indian sagamore, both the principal purchase and all the other charge that hath been about it". With that payment the matter was considered settled.
The third town clerk of Hingham was Daniel Cushing, who emigrated to Hingham from Hingham, Norfolk, with his father Matthew in 1638. Cushing's meticulous records of early Hingham enabled subsequent town historians to reconstruct much of early Hingham history as well as that of the early families. Cushing was rather unusual in that he included the town's gossip along with the more conventional formal record-keeping.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 26.3 square miles (68.1 km2), of which 22.2 square miles (57.5 km2) is land and 4.1 square miles (10.6 km2), or 15.58%, is water. Hingham is bordered on the east by Cohasset, and Scituate, on the south by Norwell and Rockland, on the west by Weymouth, and on the north by Hingham Bay and Hull. Cohasset and Weymouth are in Norfolk County; the other towns, like Hingham itself, are in Plymouth County. Hingham is 14 miles (23 km) southeast of downtown Boston.
Hingham lies along the southwest corner of Boston Harbor. The bay leads to a harbor, which cuts a U-shaped indentation into the northern shore of the town. The town is separated from Hull by the Weir River and its tributary, which leads to the Straits Pond. The northern third of the town's border with Weymouth consists of the Weymouth Back River, which empties out into Hingham Bay. There are several other small ponds and brooks throughout town. The town also has several forests and parks, the largest of which, Wompatuck State Park, spreads into the neighboring towns of Cohasset, Scituate and Norwell. There are also several conservation areas throughout town; the portion of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area in Hingham includes Bumpkin Island, Button Island, Langlee Island, Ragged Island, Sarah Island and the World's End Reservation, which juts out into the bay. There is a marina along the mouth of the Weymouth Back River, and a public beach along the harbor.
|* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.|
As of the census  of 2000, there were 19,882 people, 7,189 households, and 5,478 families residing in the town. The population density was 884.8 people per square mile (341.6/km²). There were 7,368 housing units at an average density of 327.9 per square mile (126.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.5% White, 0.40% Black or African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.75% of the population.
There were 7,189 households out of which 37.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.7% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.8% were non-families. 21.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the town, the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 4.3% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 27.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $83,018, and the median income for a family was $98,598 (these figures had risen to $100,444 and $134,259 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $66,802 versus $41,370 for females. The per capita income for the town was $41,703. About 2.4% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.
According to the Town's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the town are:
|#||Employer||# of employees|
|1||Blue Cross/Blue Shield||1,456|
|2||Town of Hingham||985|
|8||Stop & Shop||196|
On the national level, Hingham is a part of Massachusetts's 8th congressional district, and is currently represented by Stephen F. Lynch. The state's senior member of the United States Senate is Elizabeth Warren. The state's junior Senator is Ed Markey, who was elected in a special election in 2013 to fill the seat vacated by John Kerry being appointed as United States Secretary of State.
On the state level, Hingham is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as a part of the Third Plymouth district, by Joan Meschino. The district also includes Cohasset, Hull and North Scituate. The town is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Plymouth and Norfolk district, by Patrick O'Connor. The district also includes the towns of Cohasset, Duxbury, Hull, Marshfield, Norwell, Scituate and Weymouth. The town is patrolled on a secondary basis by the First (Norwell) Barracks of Troop D of the Massachusetts State Police.
Hingham is governed on the local level by the open town meeting form of government, and is led by a town administrator and a three-member board of selectmen. The members of the board of selectmen are Mary Power, Paul Healey and Karen Johnson. The town hall is located in the former Central Junior High School building, which it moved into in 1995. The town has its own police and fire departments, with a central police station next to the town hall and fire houses located near the town common, in West Hingham, and in South Hingham. The town's nearest hospital is South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, where all emergency calls are sent. There are two post offices in town, one in downtown Hingham on North Street and another in South Hingham right on Route 53. The town's public library is located on Leavitt Street in Center Hingham, and is part of the Old Colony Library Network.
|Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 15, 2008|
|Party||Number of Voters||Percentage|
Hingham is home to seven public schools:
Hingham is home to five private schools:
A small portion of Route 3 passes through the southwest corner of town, with one exit in town and another at Route 228 just south of the town line. Routes 3A and 53 also cross through the town, the latter mirroring the path of Route 3. Route 228 passes from north to south in town; the rest all pass from west to east.
Public transportation is currently served by the commuter boat ferry service from the Hingham Shipyard to Rowes Wharf in downtown Boston, the MBTA's Bus Route 220, with Route 222 also passing through a small section of town, and the MBTA Commuter Rail to Boston South Station. Commuter rail has been restored along the Greenbush Line through Hingham. Trains stop at two stations in town; West Hingham and Nantasket Junction. As part of the MBTA's agreement to restore train service, a tunnel has been built to carry the commuter trains under historic Hingham Square. There were disputes in Hingham about whether to allow the train to pass through the town. Some people felt that Hingham is becoming less like a town and more like a small city. Others felt that the line would benefit the town. Ferries also run from Hingham Shipyard to several islands in Boston Harbor during the summer as well as to Pemberton Point, Hull. There is no air service in the town; the nearest airport is Logan International Airport in Boston as well as smaller public airports in Norwood and Marshfield.
Hingham's most famous line of citizens came from two unrelated families named Lincoln who emigrated to Massachusetts from the English county of Norfolk in the seventeenth century, from Hingham and Swanton Morley, respectively. A bridge in Hingham over Route 3, the Southeast Expressway, is named after American Revolutionary War General Benjamin Lincoln of the Swanton branch. General Lincoln is best remembered for accepting Cornwallis's sword of surrender at the Siege of Yorktown. But the most famous Hingham Lincoln never lived in the town: United States President and Civil War Commander-in-Chief Abraham Lincoln, descended from one of several Lincoln families who settled in Hingham—and unrelated to General Benjamin. A bronze statue, a replica of the famous sitting Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. sits at the foot of Lincoln Street at North Street.
Mike "King" Kelly 19th Century Baseball Hall of Famer. Given a home on Main Street, Hingham by loving fans of Boston.Slide, Kelly, Slide (Scarecrow Press 1996).
Bill Belichick owns a house in Hingham in the Black Rock Country Club residential community.
The Bethlehem Hingham Shipyard of Hingham, Massachusetts, was a shipyard in the United States from 1941 until 1945. Located on Weymouth Back River, it was owned by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company and operated by the nearby Fore River Shipyard. During the three and a half years that the yard was operational, it produced 277 ships, including a destroyer escort delivered in 23 days.Button Island (Massachusetts)
Button Island is a small island in the Hingham Bay area of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. It is part of the Town of Hingham. The island has a permanent size of under 1-acre (4,000 m2), plus an intertidal zone of a further 116 acres (0.47 km2). It is composed of a massing of glacial till which rises to a height of 10 feet (3.0 m) above sea level. The island is managed by the town of Hingham, and access is by private boat only.The island is notable for a large oak tree, which together with several smaller oaks, cedars, and sumac cover the island. Shrub species such as bayberry and dewberry can also be found. Grasses and sea-lavender populate the inter-tidal zone.Camp Hingham
Camp Hingham is a former training camp of the United States Navy that existed from 1917 to 1925 in Hingham, Massachusetts. After it was closed, the land was used for the Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot.Derby Street Shoppes
Derby Street Shoppes is an outdoor shopping center in Hingham, Massachusetts, United States.HMS Cotton (K510)
HMS Cotton (K510) was a Captain-class frigate of the British Royal Navy that served in World War II. The ship was laid down as a Buckley-class destroyer escort at the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard at Hingham, Massachusetts on 2 June 1943, with the hull number DE-81, and launched on 21 August 1943. The ship was transferred to the UK under Lend-Lease on 8 November 1943, and named after Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Cotton, an officer who served in the American Revolutionary, French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.HMS Cranstoun (K511)
HMS Cranstoun (K511) was a Captain-class frigate of the British Royal Navy that served in the last two years of World War II. The ship was laid down as a Buckley-class destroyer escort at the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard at Hingham, Massachusetts on 9 June 1943, with the hull number DE-82, and launched on 28 August 1943. The ship was transferred to the UK under Lend-Lease on 13 November 1943, and named after Captain James Cranstoun, an officer who served in the American Revolutionary and French Revolutionary Wars.HMS Retalick (K555)
HMS Retalick (K555) was a British Captain-class frigate of the Royal Navy in commission during World War II. Originally constructed as a United States Navy Buckley class destroyer escort, she served in the Royal Navy from 1943 to 1945.HMS Rupert (K561)
The fourth HMS Rupert (K561) was a British Captain-class frigate of the Royal Navy in commission during World War II. Originally constructed as a United States Navy Buckley class destroyer escort, she served in the Royal Navy from 1943 to 1946.HMS Stockham (K562)
HMS Stockham (K562) was a British Captain-class frigate of the Royal Navy in commission during World War II. Originally constructed as a United States Navy Buckley class destroyer escort, she served in the Royal Navy from 1943 to 1946.Hingham (CDP), Massachusetts
Hingham is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of Hingham in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 5,650 at the 2010 census.Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot
The Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot, is a former United States Navy ammunition depot located in Hingham, Massachusetts. At its peak, it employed over 2,400 people. It also consisted of 90 buildings at that time. The Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot Annex was located nearby, and served as a storage area for the depot.Notre Dame Academy (Hingham, Massachusetts)
Notre Dame Academy is a private, all-girls Roman Catholic high school in Hingham, Massachusetts. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.Samuel Lincoln
Samuel Lincoln (died May 26, 1690) was an Englishman and progenitor of many notable United States political figures, including his 4th great-grandson, President Abraham Lincoln, Maine governor Enoch Lincoln, and Levi Lincoln Sr. and Levi Lincoln Jr., both of whom served as Massachusetts Representatives, Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Because of Samuel Lincoln's descendants, his fortuitous arrival in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the fact that his ancestry is known for several generations, he is considered the father of the most prominent branch of Lincolns in the United States.Sarah Island (Massachusetts)
Sarah Island is an island in the Hingham Bay area of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. The island has a permanent size of just under 5 acres (20,000 m2), and is composed large outcroppings and ledges of Roxbury puddingstone together with glacial till which rises to a height of 30 feet (9.1 m) above sea level. The ledges, beaches and mudflats make the ideal nesting place for gulls.The island was purchased by John Langlee in 1686, later passing to John R. Brewer, at the time the owner of nearby World's End. Today it is managed by the town of Hingham and access is by private boat only. Access by humans is discouraged during the nesting season.South Hingham Camp
South Hingham Camp is a former infantry battalion coastal defense base camp that existed from between May 1942 and November 1943 in South Hingham, Massachusetts. It was headquarters of the 3rd Battalion of the 181st Infantry Regiment, as well as companies I, M, and "B" Company of the 132nd Combat Engineer Battalion.USS LST-928
USS LST-928/Cameron (APB-50) was an LST-542-class tank landing ship in the United States Navy. Like many of her class, she was not named and is properly referred to by her hull designation.USS Myers (APD-105)
USS Myers (APD-105), ex-DE-595, was a United States Navy high-speed transport in commission from 1945 to 1947.Weir River (Massachusetts)
Weir River is a short stream and estuary that empties into Hingham Bay, part of Boston Harbor in Massachusetts, United States. The name is attributed to the location of a fishing weir in the stream. The river gives its name to a larger watershed and Weir River Farm, a park and nature reserve owned by The Trustees of Reservations.World's End (Hingham)
World's End is a 251-acre (1 km²) park and conservation area located on a peninsula in Hingham, Massachusetts. The peninsula is bordered by the Weir River to the North and East and Hingham Harbor (part of Hingham Bay, and Boston Harbor) to the West. The land is composed of four drumlins (Pine Hill, Planter's Hill, and the double drumlins of World's End proper) harboring tree groves interspersed with fields attractive to butterflies and grassland-nesting birds, and offers 4.5 miles of walking paths with views of the Boston skyline.
The adjacent neighborhood, an upper-middle class residential subdivision with several waterfront homes, is also colloquially called World's End.
Municipalities and communities of Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States
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