'Chester, God's Providence House', c 1880.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photographic view of 'God's Providence House' in Watergate Street, Chester, published by Francis Bedford & Co. Built in 1652, this was the only house in Chester whose inhabitants were not infected with the plague. For this reason it was saved from demolition. Bedford (1816-1894) was a prolific and well-respected photographer, best known for his numerous topographic and architectural views of Britain. In 1857 Bedford became a member of the Photographic Society and in 1862 he accompanied the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII (1841-1910), as official photographer on a tour of the Middle East. During the 1860s and 1870s Bedford travelled extensively throughout Britain, taking hundreds of views of British scenery. He was asisted by his son, William (1846-1893) whose work is almost indistinguishable from that of his father.