James Clitherow (1618 – 1681), the younger son of Sir Christopher Clitherow, was the first of a long-line of Clitherows to be established in Brentford. His father was a prominent City businessman and Lord Mayor of London in 1635, he was also Deputy Governor of the East India Company. His son followed him into business setting up as a merchant banker when he was only 24. Business went well and his by 1670 he had enough money to buy and restore the fire damaged property of Boston manor. David Shavreen in the Brentford History Society Journal suggests: “As a younger son, despite coming from a titled father, he was no doubt seeking the status which came with property ownership in Restoration London.” This became the family seat for the Clitherow family until the 20thCentury, when John Bourchier Stracey-Clitherow was the last private owner of Boston Manor which he sold in 1923 to the Brentford Urban District Council which was opened as a public park in 1924. The house was badly damaged during World War Two by a V1 dropping across the road. For a time it was used as a school. After extensive restoration work, it was re-opened in 1963 by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother as a visitors centre and Museum.
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