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Situation and extent-Boundaries-Origin—Petition for
a separation from Groton—Incorporation-NameAdditions of territory-First town-meeting.
Shirley is situated in the northwesterly part of Middlesex County. It is thirty-eight miles northwest from Boston, the capital of the state. It is thirty miles in the same direction from Cambridge, and twenty miles southwest from Lowell, the two shire-towns of the county.
The town is of irregular form, being seven and one-half miles in extent between its extreme north and south points, and but four miles broad at its greatest width. It contains nearly ten thousand five hundred and twenty-five acres, or about sixteen and one-half square miles, according to the survey made by Caleb Butler in 1832.
It is bounded on the north by Groton, on the east by Groton and Harvard, (from which towns it is separated by the Nashua and Squannacook rivers, which unite on its eastern boundary); on the south by Lancaster, and on the west by Lunenburg and Townsend. Harvard, Lancaster and Lunenburg are in the county of Worcester.