In 1921 the following was found in an old cutting book which, sadly, was dateless. The Peacock is mentioned and in the 1880's this hotel was renamed the Peacock and Royal after a son of Queen Victoria stayed there so it was obviously pre this date.
"................a military hoax was perpetrated on the Mayor and town of Boston (Lincolnshire) a good many years ago, and which made the town the laughing stock of the countryside for a good many years. One day a gentleman of smart bearing and military appearence arrived at the police station and asked to see the superintendent of the police. He informed this gentleman that he was Captain X--, and had arrived to prepare quarters for 500 troopers who were on the road, and would arrive in Boston the next day. The superintendent took the Captain to the Mayor, and the latter gentleman hastily summoned some of the Aldermen, and it was decided to give the troopers a public welcome. In the meantime the Captain, escorted by the superintendent, went to the chief hotel, the Peacock, and arranged for the officers quarters there, giving very generous orders right and left, even to the killing of several sucking pigs.
Every hotel and inn of the town was requisitioned, and the butchers were soon busy killing extra beasts and sheep. The Mayor decided that it would be the proper thing to meet the troopers on horseback, and invited those Aldermen and Councillors and prominent townsmen who could ride to do the same. The Mayor, leading the way with a numerous suite, all on horseback, started early, and reached Kirton, the first village south of Boston. There they waited, several hours elapsed, but no troopers ever arrived, and at last it dawned on the whole of the people assembled that they had been hoaxed, and very badly hoaxed too, as the captain had cashed numerous cheques which, like the soldiers, were bogus. Some of the butchers were very badly hit, and meat and provisions were very cheap for several days after."