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BEDFORD—BEDFORDSHIRE

that date, and the school is one of the important public schools of England. Harper’s endowment includes land in London, and is now of great value, and the Harper Trust supports in addition modern and elementary schools for boys and girls, a girls’ high school, and almshouses. The grammar school annually awards both entrance exhibitions and two exhibitions to a university or other higher educational institution. The old grammar school buildings are used as a town hall; and among other modern buildings may be mentioned the shire hall and county hospital. There are statues of John Bunyan (1874) and John Howard (1894) the philanthropist (1726-1790), who founded the Congregational chapel which bears his name, and resided at Cardington in the vicinity. There are two parks. Bedford has a large trade as a market town for agricultural produce, and extensive engineering works and manufactures of agricultural implements. The parliamentary borough returns one member. The municipal borough is under a mayor, 6 aldermen and 18 councillors. Area, 2223 acres.

Bedford (Bedcanforda, Bedanforda, Bedeford) is first mentioned in 571, when Cuthwulf defeated the Britons here. It subsequently became a Danish borough, which in 914 was captured by Edward the Elder. In Domesday, as the county town, it was entered apart from the rest of the shire, and was assessed at half a hundred for the host and for ship service. The prescriptive borough received its first charter from Henry II., who gave the town to the burgesses to hold at a fee-farm rent of £40 in lieu of all service. The privileges included a gild-merchant, all tolls, and liberties and laws in common with the citizens of Oxford. This charter was confirmed by successive sovereigns down to Charles II. During the 15th century, owing to the rise of other market towns, Bedford became less prosperous, and the fee-farm rent was finally reduced to £20 by charter of Henry VII. Henry VIII. granted a November fair to St Leonard’s hospital, which was still held in the 19th century at St Leonard’s farm, the site of the hospital. Mary granted two fairs, one in Lent and one on the Feast of the Conception, and also a weekly market. A 17th century pamphlet on river navigation in Bedfordshire mentions the trade which Bedford carried on in coal, brought by the Ouse from Lynn and Yarmouth. The town was also one of the earliest centres of the lace trade, to the success of which French refugees in the 17th and 18th centuries largely contributed.

Bedford was represented in the parliament of 1295, and after that date two members were returned regularly, until by the Redistribution of Seats Act in 1885 Bedford lost one of its members. The unlimited power of creating freemen, an inherent right of the borough, led to great abuse, noticeably in 1769 when 500 freemen[1] were created to support the political interest of Sir Robert Barnard, afterwards recorder of the borough.

Bedford castle, of which mention is first heard during Stephen’s reign (1136), was destroyed by order of Henry III. in 1224. The mound marking its site is famous as a bowling-green.


BEDFORD, a city and the county-seat of Lawrence county, Indiana, U.S.A., in the south-central part of the state, about 60 m. north-west of Louisville, Kentucky. Pop. (1890) 3351; (1910) 8716. It is served by the Baltimore & Ohio Southwestern, the Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville, the Southern Indiana, and (for freight from the Wallner quarries about 5 m. distant) the Bedford & Wallner railways. It is the shipping point of the Bedford Indiana (oolitic) limestone, which is found in the vicinity and is one of the most valuable and best known building stones in the United States—of this stone were built the capitols of Indiana, Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky; the state historical library at Madison, Wisconsin; the art building at St Louis, Missouri; and many other important public buildings. The city has large cement works, foundries and machine shops (stone-working machinery being manufactured), and the repair shops of the Southern Indiana railway. Bedford was settled in 1826 and received a city charter in 1889.


BEDFORD, a borough and the county-seat of Bedford county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., on the Raystown branch of the Juniata river, about 35 m. south by west of Altoona. Pop. (1890) 2242; (1910) 2235. Bedford is served by the Bedford branch of the Pennsylvania railway. It lies in a beautiful valley. In the borough are some interesting old houses, erected in the latter part of the 18th century, an art gallery and a soldiers’ monument. There are deposits of hematite and limestone near the borough, and less than 2 m. south of it are the widely-known Bedford Mineral Springs—a magnesia spring, a limestone spring, a sulphur spring, and a “sweet-water” spring—which attract many visitors during the summer season. There are also chalybeate and other less important springs about the same distance east of the borough, and a white sulphur spring 10 m. south-west of it. Bedford has a large wholesale grocery trade, manufactures flour, dressed lumber, kegs and handles, and is situated in a fine fruit-growing district, especially known for its apples and plums. The borough owns and operates the water works. A temporary settlement was made on or near the site of the present borough about 1750 by an Indian trader named Ray, and for a few years the place was known as Raystown; the present name was adopted not later than 1759. In July 1758 Fort Bedford, for many years an important military post on the frontier, was constructed, and here, later in the year, General John Forbes brought together his troops preparatory to advancing against Fort Duquesne. The town of Bedford was laid out in 1769, and in 1771 it was made the county-seat of Bedford county which was organized in that year. The borough was incorporated in 1795, and received a new charter in 1817. Washington came here in 1794 to review the army sent to quell the Whisky Insurrection, and the Espy house, which he then occupied, is still standing.


BEDFORDSHIRE [abbreviated Beds], a south midland county of England, bounded N.E. by Huntingdonshire, E. by Cambridgeshire, S.E. by Hertfordshire, W. by Buckinghamshire and N.W. by Northamptonshire. It is the fourth smallest English county, having an area of 466.4 sq. m. It lies principally in the middle part of the basin of the river Ouse, which, entering in the north-west, traverses the rich and beautiful Vale of Bedford with a serpentine course past the county town of Bedford to the north-eastern corner near St Neots. North of it the land is undulating, but low; to the south, a well-wooded spur of the Chiltern Hills separates the Vale of Bedford from the flat open tributary valley of the Ivel. A small part of the main line of the Chilterns is included in the south of the county, the hills rising sharply from the lowland to bare heights exceeding 600 ft. above Dunstable. In this neighbourhood the county includes the headwaters of the Lea, and thus a small portion of it falls within the Thames basin. In the north a few streams are tributary to the Nene.

Geology.—The general trend of the outcrops of the various formations is from south-west to north-east; the dip is south-easterly. In the northern portion of the county, the Middle Oolites are the most important, and of these, the Oxford Clay predominates over most of the low ground upon which Bedford is situated. At Ampthill a development of clay, the Ampthill clay, represents the Corallian limestones of neighbouring counties. The Cornbrash is represented by no more than about 2 ft. of limestone; but the Kellaways Rock is well exposed near Bedford; the sandy parts of this rock are frequently cemented to form hard masses called “doggers.” The Great Ouse, from the point where it enters the county on the west, has carved through the Middle Oolites and exposed the Great Oolite as far as Bedford; their alternating limestones and clays may be seen in the quarries not far from the town. From Woburn through Ampthill to Potton a more elevated tract is formed by the Lower Greensand. These rocks are sandy throughout. At Leighton Buzzard they are dug on a large scale for various purposes. Beds of fuller’s earth occur in this formation at Woburn. At Potton, phosphatized nodules may be obtained, and here a hard bed, the “Carstone,” lies at the top of the formation. Above the Lower Greensand comes the Gault Clay, which lies in the broad vale south-east of the former and north-west of the Chalk hills. The Chalk rises up above the Gault and forms the high ground of Dunshill Moors and the Chiltern Hills. At the base of the Chalk is the Chalk Marl, above this is the Totternhoe Stone, which, on account of its great hardness, usually stands out as a well-marked feature. The Lower Chalk, which comes next in the upward succession, is capped in a similar manner by the hard Chalk Rock, as at Royston and elsewhere. The upper Chalk-with-Flints occurs near the south-eastern boundary. Patches of glacial boulder clay and gravel lie upon the older rocks over most of the area. Many interesting mammalian fossils, rhinoceros, mammoth, &c., with palaeolithic implements, have been found in the valley gravels of the river Ouse and its tributaries.

  1. Called “guinea-pigs.”