The Reverend Timothy Richard Matthews was born in 1795 at Long Sutton, Lincolnshire and died at Bedford in 1845. He was curate of Bolnhurst between 1818 and 1825 and of Colmworth between 1818 and 1830. He was chaplain to the House of Industry in Bedford from 1825 until 1832 and pastor of Christ Church, Bromham Road, Bedford from 1832 until his death. He was a great evangelist.
To quote from the introduction to a collection of letters to and from Timothy Matthews’ bishop published in 1978:
“The Reverend Timothy Matthews was in his lifetime, and still is, a controversial figure. He is unknown to the ‘Dictionary of National Biography’, but was the subject of a laudatory biography published nearly a hundred years after his death (namely “The Life of T.R.Mathews”, Thomas Wright 1934)… He has been more recently referred to in Miss Godber’s ‘History of Bedfordshire’. To Thomas Wright, his biographer, Matthews was ‘this truly great and noble minded man,’ whom he would include in succession with Wyclif, Latimer, Whitfield and Wesley! Miss Godber writes of a new spirit of expansion among all denominations induced by the growth of population and a wider view being taken of their responsibilities. She refers to Timothy Matthews as ‘the most unconventional figure of the time… a law unto himself.’…”