The great majority of names in the long list of worthies of the commonwealth-writers, statesmen, orators, artists, philanthropists, reformers and scholars, are intimately connected with Boston.
Wilberforce, Charles Grant, John Thornton and his son Henry, were among the philanthropists who contributed to his funds; in 1798 the Sunday School Society (established 1785) extended its operations to Wales, making him its agent, and Sunday Schools grew rapidly in number and favour.
He had joined his efforts to those of Francis Place, of Westminster, and other philanthropists, to relieve and improve the condition of the working classes, labouring especially to establish schools for them on the Lancasterian system, and promoting the formation of savings banks.
The work of private philanthropists and philanthropical bodies among the poor of East London, Southwark and Bermondsey, and elsewhere, falls to be noticed at this point.
The town has received much benefit from philanthropists, Sir Joseph Verdin providing a technical school, and Sir John Brunner a guildhall and other buildings.