Picturing history: Swan Inn, Bedford

Published: Wednesday, July 4 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

Swan Inn, Bedford, Bedfordshire, England (Kenneth Mays) Swan Inn, Bedford, Bedfordshire, England (Kenneth Mays)

On Aug. 1, 1837, Elders Willard Richards and John Goodson arrived in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England. The next day, they took lodgings at the Swan Inn and called upon the Rev. Timothy Mathews, a brother-in-law of their colleague, Elder Joseph Fielding. Richards noted that Goodson preached that evening in Rev. Mathews' chapel, also on the evenings of the Aug. 3, 4 and 5.Rev. Matthews did not join the church, but by mid-September a small branch of 19 had been raised up in Bedford. Goodson chose to return to the United States after just a short time, but Richards continued to labor alone in the region. After a period of months, there was a branch of 60 members. The Swan Inn was built on the site of an earlier hotel in 1794-96, on the banks of the River Ouse.

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