Upon the Isles of the Sea

Discovering the LDS heritage of England, Ireland, Scotland, & Wales


In Their Words

A tour of the mill

In 1913 the LDS church magazine Improvement Era published a lengthy article written by a missionary who was given a tour of a Preston cotton mill.   Elder Clyde Candland Edmonds reported in great detail the whole process of creating the cotton.  His recollection is a wee bit longer than the normal missionary letter home – but provides a fascinating look behind the scenes.   Initially I was just going to give a few excerpts, but decided to put nearly the whole article in.

NOTE: If you don’t have a great interest in how cotton goods are made most of this post will be of little interest, BUT you must, at least, skim down to the 20th paragraph and read what the cotton workers did when they saw the Mormon Elders coming to their departments.

The rest of this post is entirely In Their WordsContinue reading “A tour of the mill”

Charles Dickens in Preston

In our sanitised, bleached, painted and plastic homes and towns it takes a big leap to visualise Victorian living conditions.

Who better to provide those details than Charles Dickens.

In January 1854 Dickens visited Preston during a cotton workers’ strike.  He decided to educate readers about the working conditions in the northern industrial towns, and, using Preston and Manchester as his inspiration, he created a fictional place called Coketown.  He called the book “Hard Times”, and the novel first appeared in a weekly serialised form between April and August 1854.  His descriptions of ‘Coketown’ provide valuable insights into what Victorian Preston must have looked and smelled and felt like. Continue reading “Charles Dickens in Preston”

Obelisk Preachers

While Orson Hyde was preaching at Preston’s obelisk he was delighted to find a receptive crowd wanting to hear more about infant baptism not being necessary.   Continue reading “Obelisk Preachers”

Plain Facts

This is part five of the Fielding legacy series and outlines how Rev. Matthews almost became a Mormon.

On the 30th July 1837 the first nine baptisms took place in Preston –  all from Revered James Fielding’s congregation.  Two days later two of the missionaries travelled 190 miles south to Bedford to see if a similar introduction and conversion could be initiated with Reverend Matthews and his congregation.  Reverend Matthews initial acceptance and sudden rejection was summarised in an 1841 missionary tract printed by Mormon missionary George J. Adams in Bedford.  The following account was signed by Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde and Willard Richards (Mar 24, 1841.  Preston). Continue reading “Plain Facts”

Goodly Parents

This is a continuation (part two) of the Fielding Legacy story.

Joseph, Mary and Mercy Fielding came from a rich spiritual family.

Their parents – John Fielding (1759-1836) and Rachel (1767-1828) – were both born, christened and married in Halifax, Yorkshire. Their sister Ann Fielding (Matthews) wrote a lengthy article about their mother in the Wesleyan Methodist magazine.    Ann spoke in length of how the family came to Bedfordshire.  She recorded, Continue reading “Goodly Parents”

The Fielding Legacy

This is the first of a six part series about the influence of the Fielding family.

The three siblings Joseph, Mary and Mercy Fielding were all born in Britain, emigrated to Canada, and converted to the restored gospel through their associations with John Taylor and Parley P. Pratt.  The Fielding trio began writing to their family members, who still lived back in England, about the new gospel they had found.  Those letters were read out by their brother James to his Preston congregation in the Vauxhall Chapel even before any missionary arrived in Britain.  Joseph wrote: Continue reading “The Fielding Legacy”

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