"BEDFORD, comprises the parishes of St. Cuthbert, St. John, St. Mary, St. Paul, and St. Peter_De_Merton's, it is the county town of Bedfordshire, a municipal and parliamentary borough constituting a liberty of itself, 47 miles to the north of London, by the Midland and Great Northern railways; on the former of which it is a station. It is also connected with the London and North-Western railway by a branch line to Bletchley, 16 miles distant. It is seated on the banks of the river Ouse, near an ancient ford, from which circumstance it derived its name. The Saxons called the town Bedanford, which signifies "town at the ford." The Britons suffered a defeat here, in the year 571, by the Saxons under Cuthwulf. The town was frequently attacked by the Danes during-the wars of the 10th century, and in 1010 was burnt down by them." (There is more of this description).
With the development of Web technology, it has been possible to make that database searchable via the Internet, but also to extend the original pack with photographs, extended studies and additional materials. In addition, explanatory notes have been added to the original database entries to make them more easily understood.
Robert Evans Roberts was innovatory in his use of photography to record prisoners. Included here are all the photographs from the prison register for the years 1859 to 1877, linked to the original database where possible.
In time, Bedford Records Office plans to produce a complete database for the 4000+ prisoners that were held in Bedford Gaol over the period 1801-1877. This will provide an even more detailed and richer resource than the database currently used.
In a niche over the entrance of the old Grammar school, now the Town Hall, is a statue, of the founder, Sir William Harpur, knight, in his robes as alderman of the city of London: and inserted in the wall at the base of the statue is a marble slab, bearing a Latin inscription, He died in 1573, and was interred in St. Paul's church in this town, where his tomb still remains.
The old buildings of the school in St. Paul's square, have been transferred to the Corporation for conversion into municipal buildings.
The present school buildings adjoin De Parys avenue; the foundation stone was laid Oct. 17th, 1889, by Samuel Whitbread esq. M.P. for the borough and chairman of the governing body of the Harpur trust, and the buildings completed Oct. 19, 1891, at a total cost of about £25,000, are in the Tudor style from designs by Mr. E. C. Robins F.S.A. architect, of London, and consist of a large assembly hall on the north side, with 42 class rooms and offices on the east, west and south sides in three storeys, and a chemical laboratory; the front elevation facing the new park, includes the battlemented north side of the central hall, containing seven huge windows, with suites of class rooms on either side, three porches and an octagonal tower at the corner; the school stands in its own grounds, and is approached from two sides by carriage drives, and adjacent is a playing field of 20 acres ; there are also chemical and physical laboratories, covered playground, fives courts, gymnasium, carpenters and engineering workshops, observatory &c. and two sanitoria on the. Clapham road. The school is organized in four departments: