including six rural deaneries, which remained practically unaltered until 1880, when they were increased to eleven with a new schedule of parishes.
Antiquities.—The monastic remains in Bedfordshire include the fine fragment of the church of the Augustinian priory at Dunstable, serving as the parish church; the church (also imperfect) of Elstow near Bedford, which belonged to a Benedictine nunnery founded by Judith, niece of William the Conqueror; and portions of the Gilbertine Chicksands Priory and of a Cistercian foundation at Old Warden. In the parish churches, many of which are of great interest, the predominant styles are Decorated and Perpendicular. Work of pre-Conquest date, however, is found in the massive tower of Clapham church, near Bedford on the north, and in a door of Stevington church. Fine Norman and Early English work is seen at Dunstable and Elstow, and the later style is illustrated by the large cruciform churches at Leighton Buzzard and at Felmersham on the Ouse above Bedford. Among the Perpendicular additions to the church last named may be noted a very beautiful oaken rood-screen. To illustrate Decorated and Perpendicular the churches of Clifton and of Marston Moretaine, with its massive detached campanile, may be mentioned; and Cople church is a good specimen of fine Perpendicular work. The church of Cockayne Hatley, near Potton, is fitted with rich Flemish carved wood, mostly from the abbey of Alne near Charleroi, and dating from 1689, but brought here by a former rector early in the 19th century. In medieval domestic architecture the county is not rich. The mansion of Woburn Abbey dates from the middle of the 18th century.
Authorities.—Victoria County History (London, 1904, &c.); Fishe, Collections, Historical, Genealogical and Topographical, for Bedfordshire (London, 1812-1816, and also 1812-1836); J. D. Parry, Select Illustrations of Bedfordshire (London, 1827); Bedfordshire Domesday Book (Bedford, 1881); Visitation of Bedford, 1566, 1582, and 1634, in Harleian Society’s Publications, vol. xiv. (London, 1884); Genealogica Bedfordiensis, 1538, 1800 (London, 1890); and Illustrated Bedfordshire (Nottingham, 1895). See also Bedfordshire Notes and Queries, ed. F. A. Blades, and Transactions of the Bedfordshire Natural History and Field Club.
BEDLAM, or Bethlehem Hospital, the first English lunatic asylum, originally founded by Simon FitzMary, sheriff of London, in 1247, as a priory for the sisters and brethren of the order of the Star of Bethlehem. It had as one of its special objects the housing and entertainment of the bishop and canons of St Mary of Bethlehem, the mother-church, on their visits to England. Its first site was in Bishopsgate Street. It is not certain when lunatics were first received in Bedlam, but it is mentioned as a hospital in 1330 and some were there in 1403. In 1547 it was handed over by Henry VIII. with all its revenues to the city of London as a hospital for lunatics. With the exception of one such asylum in Granada, Spain, the Bethlehem Hospital was the first in Europe. It became famous and afterwards infamous for the brutal ill-treatment meted out to the insane (see Insanity: Hospital Treatment). In 1675 it was removed to new buildings in Moorfields and finally to its present site in St George’s Fields, Lambeth. The word “Bedlam” has long been used generically for all lunatic asylums.
BEDLINGTON, an urban district of Northumberland, England, within the parliamentary borough of Morpeth, 5 m. S.E. of that town on a branch of the North Eastern railway. Pop. (1901) 18,766. It lies on high ground above the river Blyth, 2½ m. above its mouth. The church of St Cuthbert shows good transitional Norman details. Its dedication recalls the transportation of the body of the saintly bishop of Lindisfarne from its shrine at Durham by the monks of that foundation to Lindisfarne, when in fear of attack from William the Conqueror. They rested here with the coffin. The modern growth of the town is attributable to the valuable collieries of the neighbourhood, and to manufactures of nails and chains. It is one of the most populous mining centres in the county. On the south bank of the river is the township and urban district of Cowpen (pop. 17,879), with collieries and glass works; coal is shipped from this point by river.
Bedlington (Betlingtun) and the hamlets belonging to it were bought by Cutheard, bishop of Durham, between 900 and 915, and although locally situated in the county of Northumberland became part of the county palatine of Durham over which Bishop Walcher was granted royal rights by William the Conqueror. When these rights were taken from Cuthbert Tunstall, bishop of Durham, in 1536, Bedlington among his other property lost its special privileges, but was confirmed to him in 1541 with the other property of his predecessors. Together with the other lands of the see of Durham, Bedlington was made over to the ecclesiastical commissioners in 1866. Bedlingtonshire was made part of Northumberland for civil purposes by acts of parliament in 1832 and 1844.
BEDLOE, WILLIAM (1650-1680), English informer, was born at Chepstow on the 20th of April 1650. He appears to have been well educated; he was certainly clever, and after coming to London in 1670 he became acquainted with some Jesuits and was occasionally employed by them. Calling himself now Captain Williams, now Lord Gerard or Lord Newport or Lord Cornwallis, he travelled from one part of Europe to another; he underwent imprisonments for crime, and became an expert in all kinds of duplicity. Then in 1678, following the lead of Titus Gates, he gave an account of a supposed popish plot to the English government, and his version of the details of the murder of Sir E. B. Godfrey was rewarded with £500. Emboldened by his success he denounced various Roman Catholics, married an Irish lady, and having become very popular lived in luxurious fashion. Afterwards his fortunes waned, and he died at Bristol on the 20th of August 1680. His dying depositions, which were taken by Sir Francis North, chief justice of the common pleas, revealed nothing of importance. Bedloe wrote a Narrative and impartial discovery of the horrid Popish Plot (1679), but all his statements are extremely untrustworthy.
See J. Pollock, The Popish Plot (1903).
BEDMAR, ALPHONSO BELLA CUEVA, Marquis of (1572-1655), Spanish diplomatist, became ambassador to the republic of Venice in 1667. This was a very important position owing to the amount of information concerning European affairs which passed through the hands of the representative of Spain. When Bedmar took up this appointment, Venice had just concluded an alliance with France, Switzerland and the Netherlands, to counterbalance the power of Spain, and the ambassador was instructed to destroy this league. Assisted by the duke of Ossuna, viceroy of Naples, he formed a plan to bring the city into the power of Spain, and the scheme was to be carried out on Ascension Day 1618. The plot was, however, discovered; and Bedmar, protected by his position from arrest, left Venice and went to Flanders as president of the council. In 1622 he was made a cardinal, and soon afterwards became bishop of Oviedo, a position which he retained until his death, which occurred at Oviedo on the 2nd of August 1655. The authorship of an anonymous work, Squitinio della libertà Veneta, published at Mirandola in 1612, has been attributed to him.
Some controversy has arisen over the Spanish plot of 1618, and some historians have suggested that it only existed in the minds of the Venetian senators, and was a ruse for forcing Bedmar to leave Venice. From what is known, however, of the policy of Spain at this time, it is by no means unlikely that such a scheme was planned.
See C. V. de Saint-Réal, Œuvres, tome iv. (Paris, 1745); P. J. Grosley, Discussion historique et critique sur la conjuration de Venise (Paris, 1756); P. A. N. B. Daru, Histoire de la république de Venise (Paris, 1853); A. Baschet, Histoire de la chancellerie secrète à Venise (Paris, 1870).
BED-MOULD, in architecture, the congeries of mouldings which is under the projecting part of almost every cornice, of which, indeed, it is a part.
BEDOUINS (Ahl Bedu, “dwellers in the open land,” or Ahl el beit, “people of the tent,” as they call themselves), the name given to the most important, as it is the best known, division of the Arab race. The Bedouins are the descendants of the Arabs of North Arabia whose traditions claim Ishmael as