||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (March 2010)|
Logo of Bedford School
Crest of Bedford School
|Motto||Floreat Schola Bedfordiensis
(May Bedford School Flourish)
|Type||Independent day and boarding
|Religion||Church of England|
|Headmaster||Mr. John Moule|
|Founder||King Edward VI|
|Location||De Parys Avenue
|DfE URN||109718 Tables|
|Colours||Navy and White|
|Former pupils||Old Bedfordians|
- Bedford School is not to be confused with Bedford Modern School or Bedford High School or Old Bedford School in Bedford, Texas
Bedford School is an HMC independent school for boys located in the town of Bedford, Bedfordshire, England. Mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and refounded in 1552, it is the oldest of four independent schools in Bedford run by the Harpur Trust charity.
Bedford School comprises the Preparatory School (ages 7 to 13) and the Upper School (ages 13 to 18). There are around 1,200 pupils, of whom approximately a third are boarders. In 2008, Mr John Moule succeeded Dr Philip Evans OBE as headmaster.
According to the Good Schools Guide, Bedford School is "much-respected by those in the know" and is "an unpretentious school which has everything a boy could need." It has produced Nobel Prize winners, Olympic gold medal champions and Victoria Cross holders, educating leading personalities from fields as diverse as politics and academia, the armed forces and sport.
- 1 History
- 2 Buildings and Grounds
- 3 Year Groups
- 4 Houses
- 5 School Officials
- 6 Colours
- 7 Extra Curricular
- 8 Headmasters
- 9 Notable Old Bedfordians
- 9.1 Academia
- 9.2 Actors and Entertainers
- 9.3 Adventurers and Nonconformists
- 9.4 Architecture
- 9.5 The Armed Forces
- 9.6 Aviation
- 9.7 The Church
- 9.8 The Civil Service
- 9.9 Industry and Commerce
- 9.10 Journalism
- 9.11 The Law
- 9.12 Literature
- 9.13 Music
- 9.14 Politicians and Statesmen
- 9.15 Sport
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Bedford School is first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, and probably predates the Norman Conquest of 1066. The school was originally located at a site on Mill Street, then called School Lane, and administered by the Augustinian canons of Newnham Priory until the suppression of the priory in 1540, when the school's Mill Street site was acquired by the Mayor and Burgesses of Bedford.
In order to ensure the continued existence of the school, the Mayor and Burgesses petitioned the Crown. As a result, on 15 August 1552, Bedford School was refounded when the 'Mayor, Bailiffs, Burgesses and Commonalty' of Bedford were, by letters patent issued by King Edward VI, granted the right to ‘erect, make, found and establish a free and perpetual Grammar school’ which was to provide ‘education, institution and instruction of Boys and Youths in Grammar, Literature and Good Manners.’
Shortly thereafter, William Harper (who had been born in Bedford in c.1496 and who, in all likelihood, attended Bedford School in Mill Street when it was still administered by Newnham Priory) and his wife, Alice, set out to provide funds for an educational endowment in perpetuity (later known as the Harpur Trust) for the ‘poore chylders ther to be nurryshed and enformed’. The source of the money was from buildings and land acquired by Harper in Holborn. And so, conveying his endowment to the corporation of Bedford on 22 April 1566, Harper provided Bedford School with new buildings at its second location, in St Paul’s Square, and a house for the headmaster, Edmund Greene.
Harper was elected Lord Mayor of London in 1561 and knighted in 1562. His coat of arms and crest included the eagle which has remained a symbol for the school. Sir William died on 27 February 1574 and the name Harper was supposedly changed to ‘Harpur’ in 1764 in the belief that the new spelling looked much better when used in the Latin inscription applied on a new facade of Bedford School. Whatever the truth of that story, in that same year, 1764, the Harpur Trust was formally created by Act of Parliament to administer Bedford School's endowment.
James Surtees Phillpotts was appointed as the twenty-second headmaster of Bedford School in 1874 at the age of thirty-five. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1903. It was during his time that, on 29 October 1891, a procession of masters, pupils and old boys moved the school from the old school premises in St Paul’s Square to its third, current, and far more spacious, location in buildings constructed on land purchased to the north of St Peter’s Green.
The new main school building, in Victorian gothic style, included a great hall with galleries opening to classrooms on the second and third floors. The ground floor included the headmaster’s study, the Bell Room, common rooms for teachers and, later, for monitors, as well as more classrooms. Access to the upper floors was by narrow staircases situated at each end of the building.
The school’s main building remained in this form until a disastrous fire on 3 March 1979 destroyed all but the west end where the Bell Room and the headmaster’s study were located. All that remained of the rest of the building was the brick shell which was incorporated in the restored building. The restored main building was opened on 10 September 1981. In the interim the school functioned in twenty-two temporary huts and by using the Howard and Craig buildings on the school estate.
In 2005, Bedford School was one of fifty of the country's leading private schools which were found guilty of running an illegal price-fixing cartel which had allowed them to drive up fees for thousands of parents. Each school was required to pay a nominal penalty of £10,000 and all agreed to make ex-gratia payments totalling £3 million into a trust designed to benefit pupils who attended the schools during the period in respect of which fee information was shared.
The school estate has seen many developments over the past century, most recently the erection of two new buildings: the new library and the new music school. Work is currently pressing ahead on the construction of a new school theatre.
Buildings and Grounds
The Main School building was originally built in 1891, and is a Grade II listed building. On the night of 3–4 March 1979, much of the building was gutted by fire due to an arson attack. The internal structure of the building was destroyed and thirty classrooms lost. Almost all pupil records were saved but books, furniture and the large collection of previous headmasters' portraits were lost. Nevertheless the school was in full operation on Monday 5 March. The integral structure of the walls was not affected by the fire, and within two years the building was restored. A number of alterations were made to the building during restoration, most importantly the raising of the central Great Hall to first floor level in order to provide more classroom and administrative space on the ground floor below.
The Chapel was completed in 1908 and is a Grade B listed building. It is significant as the last architectural accomplishment of George Frederick Bodley, a prominent Victorian architect who worked in the Gothic revival style. Other notable buildings by Bodley include the chapels of Marlborough College and Queens' College, Cambridge.
In 2005, various refurbishment projects took place within the chapel. Most significantly, the ceiling was restored to its former Bodlian watercolour design, the original having been painted over in the 1960s due to deterioration. At the same time, the interior walls were redecorated and the stonework cleaned.
Observatory and Planetarium
The Charles Piazzi Smyth Observatory and the Wolfson Planetarium were opened in May 2002 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. Situated on the Bedford School estate, the facility is operated by the school's Astronomer in conjunction with members of the Bedford Astronomical Society. The observatory was named after an Old Bedfordian who went on to become the Astronomer Royal for Scotland. It features a specially-made GRP dome and a computer controlled twelve-inch (305 mm) telescope. The telescope also has a hydrogen alpha filter, enabling one to see the magnetic plasma flow around the Sun. The adjacent Planetarium was named after the Wolfson Foundation.
The Music department is housed in the new purpose-built Music School, designed by Eric Parry R.A., and completed in November 2005. This state-of-the-art building houses a large Recital Hall with recording facilities, a recording studio, individual specialised teaching and practice rooms, and a rock studio. The building was officially opened by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, CBE, Master of the Queen’s Music, in March 2006 and the recording facilities were officially opened by David Arnold on 20 May 2013.
The first recorded match on the school cricket ground was in 1876 when Bedfordshire played Huntingdonshire. Bedfordshire played their first Minor Counties Championship match there in 1895, when it played Hertfordshire. From 1895 to the present, the ground has held 181 Minor Counties Championship matches. In addition, the ground has also hosted 5 MCCA Knockout Trophy matches for Bedfordshire, the first of which came in 1993 and saw Bedfordshire play Cambridgeshire.
The ground has also held 2 List-A matches for Northamptonshire. The first came in the 1971 John Player League when Northamptonshire played Lancashire and the second came in 1982 in the same competition and between the same two sides.
The first year at Bedford (for 13- to 14-year-olds) is called the Fourth Form and is equivalent to Year 9 in the state system. After that is the Remove and the Fifth Form. The next two years are the Lower Sixth and the Upper Sixth. Bedford School also caters for the lower years (from year 3 to year 8) in Bedford Prep School. This is on the same campus as the main school and many facilities are shared. Currently, there are 6 day houses.
|Year Group||State school equivalent|
|Fourth Form||Year 9|
|Fifth Form||Year 11|
|Lower Sixth||Year 12|
|Upper Sixth||Year 13|
Bedford School has six houses. Each house consists of a day house and a partnering boarding house. The house names, dating from the mid-nineteenth century, refer to areas of Bedford; boys were originally allocated a house based on the area of town in which they lived. Whilst these are the official house names, it is common for boarders to refer to their house by the name of their boarding house. The houses are:
Paulo Pontine - takes its name from the area around St Paul's church ("Paulo") and the area south of the river, over the Town bridge ("Pontine"). The day house occupies a single storey ground floor area beneath the art department towards the south of the school estate. The boarding house, Redburn, is situated off site within a 10-minute walk of the school. The house colours are gold, brown, and light blue.
Bromham - The day house is situated on Burnaby Road at the main entrance, next to the Rice Building. The school's sixth form boarding house, Burnaby, is situated on Burnaby road. The house colours are light blue and navy blue.
St Peter's - The day house occupies a purpose built building next to its boarding house, Talbots, on Burnaby Road. The house colours are scarlet (formerly pink) and white.
Crescent - The day house is situated in a two storey building towards the south of the school site. The boarding house, Pemberley, is situated just off site on Pemberley Avenue. The house colours are black and white. Crescent received its name from the crescent shaped building that is its day house.
St Cuthbert's - The day house is located next door to the medical centre on Burnaby Road. The boarding house, Phillpotts, is situated in the north-east corner of the school estate. The house colours are dark blue and black.
Ashburnham - The day house occupies a large building adjacent to the Design & Technology Block. The boarding house, Sandersons, is situated off site within a 10-minute walk of the school, adjacent to Redburn. The house colours are dark red and brown.
Monitors are chosen from the top year group of the school (the Upper 6th); these pupils are deemed to have the best qualities of leadership and achievement in their year group. In addition, there are the separate roles played by the heads of the boarding and school houses, although a monitor may occasionally be chosen to fulfill both roles.
On a school-wide level the 'best' monitor is made Head of School, and a deputy is appointed to assist him. Monitors can wear coloured waistcoats and brown shoes along with brass buttons on their blazers. Since 2004, monitors have been chosen by a selection committee after application.
The Heads of House are appointed directly by the Housemaster who also selects a Deputy and House Options, except for Burnaby, the sixth form boarding house, and Sandersons, where the students elect their Head and Deputy.
Individual achievement in various fields may recognized by the awarding of 'Colours'. Colours can be awarded, at the discretion of the appropriate master, to individuals in the fifth form and above. The various colours awards entitle the bearer to wear a particular variant of their uniform, appropriate to that award, on given days. There are three types of colours: House, Sport (Minor and Major) and Headmaster's.
House Colours - awarded by a housemaster for contribution to an individual's house, for example through success in an inter-house competition. House colours consist of a house tie with pronounced double stripes (thicker than the standard house tie) and a knitted house scarf with multiple horizontal stripes, both in the house colours. House colours can be worn on a daily basis.
Minor Sports Colours - awarded for success in representing the school at a minor sport (i.e. any sport other than one of the four major sports) by the master in charge of that sport. Minor sports colours may also be awarded to successful second team players of major sports. Minor sports colours consist of a royal blue club tie with single white stripes, a woollen navy blue blazer with a white eagle on the breast pocket and a navy blue woollen scarf with three vertical stripes (royal blue on the outsides, white in the centre). The tie and scarf may be worn on a daily basis; the blazer is reserved for High Days, Saturdays and match days.
Major Sports Colours - awarded for success in representing the school at one of the four major sports (rugby, hockey, cricket or rowing) by the master in charge of that sport and with the headmaster's approval. Major Sports colours consist of a club tie (dull blue with thick double white stripes), plain cable-knit cricket jumper, blazer and other accessories. The tie and jumper are common to each sport whilst the blazer and other accessories vary for each. The tie, jumper and scarf may be worn on a daily basis whilst blazers and other accessories are reserved for High Days, Saturdays and Match days. The variants for each of the major sports are as follows:
Rugby: navy blue woollen blazer with a breast pocket of a navy blue eagle within a red shield; dull blue woollen scarf with three red vertical stripes.
Hockey: navy blue woollen blazer with a breast pocket of a white eagle within a red shield; dull blue woollen scarf with three sky blue vertical stripes.
Cricket: royal blue and white vertically striped blazer with a white eagle on the breast pocket; royal blue and white striped cricket cap; no scarf.
Rowing: navy blue woollen blazer with white trimming and a white eagle on the breast pocket; dull blue woollen scarf with white vertical stripes; white chino trousers.
Headmaster's Colours - awarded by the headmaster to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the school. Headmaster's colours are the highest form of colours to be awarded at Bedford School and are typically awarded to only one or two individuals per year. Headmaster's colours consist of just a woollen scarf: navy blue with three vertical gold stripes and the school shield embroidered at either end. The scarf may be worn on a daily basis.
Academic Colours - consist of a golden eagle to be worn on the blazer, normally only awarded to Upper Sixth students for both outstanding academic achievement and significant contributions to the extracurricular academic activities supported by the school.
Arts Colours - a white eagle on a purple patch, awarded for excellence in art, music or drama.
Bedford School has a different major sport for each term. The Christmas term is rugby union-orientated, the Easter term is hockey, and Summer is cricket season. Rowing takes place on the River Ouse throughout the year.
Other sports at the school include athletics, football, swimming, badminton, basketball, canoeing, cross-country running, fencing, fives, golf, rifle shooting, sailing, squash, tennis, volleyball, weights, table-tennis and water polo.
The school has produced many sportsmen, including cricketer Alastair Cook, who went on to play Test cricket for England - whose coach was sports master and ex-England batsman Derek Randall. Others include England rugby players Martin Bayfield and Andy Gomarsall, and 1924 Olympic 100 yards (91 m) gold medalist Harold Abrahams.
On the rugby field, Bedford School competes against Stowe School, St Edward's School, Oxford, Bedford Modern School, Oundle School, Wellington College, Oakham School, Radley College, Uppingham School, Haileybury, Dulwich College, Warwick School, Rugby School and Harrow School. Bedford has also entertained Mill Hill School, Marlborough College, RGS High Wycombe, Merchant Taylor's School and St Paul's School, amongst others, in the past.
Annually, there is a programme of music concerts, culminating in a series of summer concerts at the end of the academic year. There are a number of senior music groups, including the School First (Symphony) Orchestra, the Concert Band, the Choral Society, the Chapel Choir, and a large number of chamber groups. In addition, there is a Second Orchestra, a Chamber Orchestra, Dance Band, and jazz and rock groups. There is a musician in residence at the school, with this post most recently held by James Lark.
The Chapel Choir sings the weekly and special services in Bedford School Chapel. The choir consists of 18 choristers from the Preparatory School and 24 choral scholars from the Upper School, many of whom are former cathedral choristers.
The Choir regularly sings services and performs concerts in English cathedrals, including St Paul's and Westminster Abbey. The choir also tours abroad in alternate years. Previous destinations have included: Prague (1998); Oslo (2000); Paris (2002), where the choir sang mass in Notre Dame Cathedral; Rome (2004), where the choir sang mass in St. Peter's Basilica; Ireland (2006); and Madrid (2008).
The Choir has made several CD recordings in recent years. In 2007, the BBC recorded the School's Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols for transmission on Christmas Day of that year on BBC Radio under the direction of Andrew Morris, Director of Music from 1979 to 2011.
Bedford School has a tradition of singing: boys sing together in assembly and chapel at least twice a week and the boarders have a weekly hymn practice. The inter-house singing competition, occurring annually every autumn, is one of the most fiercely fought contests in the school. The school hymn, "Domus Pater", was written by Henry Le Mesurier in 1861; it is still sung regularly in its original Latin:
|Domus Pater Harperiae
Honus Tuus sit incola;
Tu porticus caelestibus
|In Harpur's house, O Father, may
Thine honour aye in dwelling stay
May ever round its portals be
The guardian angels placed by thee.
|Impubes usque tu manus
Huc ventitantes respice
Et inter mundi Semitas
Pedes securos dirige.
|The bands of youth look down and see
Restoring here continuously;
And safely on through life's rough way
|Infirma verbo pectora
Rectoque cultu robora;
Cibum caelestem porrige
Et mala procul abige.
|Strengthen the frail ones with thy word
And guiding discipline, O Lord;
Hold forth thy heavenly food, we pray,
And drive all evil things away.
|Ut omni mane gratiam
Tuam precentur cum fide
Et corde grato vesperi
Laudes tuas concelebrent.
|May they each morn the day begin
With prayer sincere thy grace to win
With grateful hearts at fall of even
May they exalt thy praise to heaven.
|Deo Patri sit gloria
Eiusque soli Filio,
Sanctissimo cum Spiritu,
Et nunc et in perpetuum.
|To God the Father and the Son,
And God the Spirit, Holy One,
May greatest glory henceforth be
both now and through eternity.
Combined Cadet Force
One of the most popular extracurricular activities at Bedford School is the Combined Cadet Force. This differs from other Corps in that it draws members from three schools and that it is voluntary. Despite its voluntary status it is the largest CCF contingent of any school.
The school has several in-school magazines, the most prominent of which is The Ousel. It is largely written by pupils but run directly by the school's senior management. It is published at the end of each school year and features student and staff reviews of the school year. The school's Mosaic Society also runs the "Mosaic" magazine which features a range of student-written essays and articles on subjects ranging from current affairs and politics to sport and science. In 2011, the Classical Society introduced their new publication, "VIM Magazine". Run entirely by the boys, with input from the staff of the Classics Department, this magazine features academic essays as well as more light-hearted articles on classical fashion and travel. It is testament to the growing revival of Classics within the school.
- 2014- TBC James Hodgson
- 2008-2014 John Moule (Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford) Will leave at the end of the 2014 Summer Term
- 1990-2008 Dr Philip Evans OBE FRSC (Churchill College, Cambridge; Imperial College, London)
- 1989-1990 Michael Barlen (New College, Oxford) (Vice Master under Ian Jones and Sidney Miller)
- 1986-1989 Sidney Miller (University of Cambridge)
- 1975-1986 Ian Jones (C. I. M. Jones) (St John's College, Cambridge)
- 1955-1975 Revd William Brown (Pembroke College, Cambridge)
- 1928-1955 Humfrey Grose Hodge (Marlborough College; Pembroke College, Cambridge; Assistant Master at Charterhouse School)
- 1910-1928 Reginald Carter (Clifton College; Lincoln College, Oxford; Rector of Edinburgh Academy)
- 1903-1910 John Edward King (Clifton College; Lincoln College, Oxford; High Master of Manchester Grammar School)
- 1874-1903 James Surtees Phillpotts (Winchester College; New College, Oxford; Housemaster at Rugby School)
- 1855-1874 Revd Frederick Fanshawe (Fellow and Tutor of Exeter College, Oxford)
- 1811-1855 Revd John Brereton LL.D. (Fellow of New College, Oxford)
- 1810-1811 William Stratford (Christ Church, Oxford; Headmaster of Thame Grammar School)
- 1773-1810 John Hooke (New College, Oxford; Headmaster of Thame Grammar School)
- 1739-1773 George Bridle (New College, Oxford)
- 1718-1739 Matthew Priaulx
- 1683-1718 Nicholas Aspinall (Emmanuel College, Cambridge)
- 1656-1683 George Butler
- 1610-1656 Daniel Gardener
- 1548-1573 Edmund Greene (Fellow of New College, Oxford)
Edmund Greene was appointed by the Mayor, Bailiffs, Burgesses and Commonality of Bedford following the dissolution of Newnham Priory in 1540. His appointment was made prior to Bedford School's refoundation in 1552. From then on the Wardens and Fellows of New College, Oxford were given the right to appoint the Master (Headmaster) and Usher (Deputy Headmaster). The tradition of Wykehamist and New College appointees came to an end in 1903 with the appointment of John Edward King.
Notable Old Bedfordians
- Professor Sir Walter Langdon-Brown (1870–1946), Regius Professor of Physic, University of Cambridge, 1932–1935
- John Desmond Bernal FRS (1901–1971), pioneer of X-ray crystallography in molecular biology
- Archer John Porter Martin FRS (1910–2002), winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1952
- Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937), Italian inventor, known for his pioneering work on long distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, 1909
- Professor Charles Enrique Dent CBE FRCP FRS (1911–1976), physician and biochemist who gave his name to Dent's disease
- Richard D'Aeth (1912–2008), educationalist and President of Hughes Hall, Cambridge
- Professor Quentin Skinner FRHS FBA (born 1940), Regius Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge, 1996–2008
- Professor Frank Adams FRS (1930–1989), Fielden Professor of Mathematics, University of Manchester, 1964–1970, and Lowndean Professor of Astronomy and Geometry, University of Cambridge, 1970–1989
- Sir Wyndham Dunstan KCMG FRS (1861–1949), chemist and Director of the Imperial Institute, 1903–1924
- John Thompson Platts (1830–1904), Indian and Persian language expert
- Sir Karl Parker CBE FBA (1895–1992), art historian and Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, 1945–1962
- Professor Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy FRHS, Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and Professor of History at the University of Virginia
- Sir Warington Wilkinson Smyth FRS (1817-1890), geologist
- Professor Charles Piazzi Smyth FRSE FRS FRAS FRSSA (1819-1900), Professor of Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh and Astronomer Royal for Scotland, 1846-1888
- George Crichton Wells FRCP (1914-1999), dermatologist who gave his name to Wells' syndrome
- Sir Maurice Craig CBE FRCP (1866-1935), psychiatrist
Actors and Entertainers
- Torin Thatcher (1905–1981), actor
- Bob Barrett (born 1966), actor
- Al Murray (born 1968), comedian
- Joel Beckett (born 1973), actor
- David Lloyd Vitty (born 1974), BBC Radio 1 presenter
Adventurers and Nonconformists
- Colonel Frederick Gustavus Burnaby (1842–1885), British Army officer, adventurer, balloonist, author, and correspondent for The Times
- Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers (1854–1918), occultist
- Norman Baillie-Stewart (1909-1966), traitor known as "The Officer in the Tower"
- Stainton Moses (1839-1892), spiritualist
- Simon Murray CBE (born 1940), adventurer, author, former French Foreign Legionnaire, and the oldest man to reach the South Pole unsupported, at the age of 63
- Sir Bernard Feilden CBE FRIBA (1919–2008), conservation architect, work included cathedrals, the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal
- Peter "Joe" Chamberlin CBE (1919–1978), architect and town planner, of Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, one of the most important modernist architectural firms in post-War Britain
The Armed Forces
Victoria Cross Holders
Five Old Bedfordians have won the Victoria Cross:
- First World War
- Second World War
- General Sir Walter Braithwaite GCB (1865–1945), Adjutant-General to the Forces, 1927–1931
- Field Marshal Sir Cyril Deverell GCB KBE ADC DL (1874–1947), Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 1936–1937
- Major-General Sir Hubert Huddleston GCMG GBE CB DSO MC (1880–1950), Commandant, Sudan Defence Force and General Officer Commanding Sudan, 1925–1930, and Governor-General of the Sudan, 1940–1947
- Lieutenant-General Harold Rawdon Briggs KCIE KBE CB CBE DSO (1894–1952), British Indian Army, Commander in Chief, Burma Command, 1946–1948
- General Sir Sidney Kirkman GCB KBE MC (1895–1982), General Officer Commanding, 50th (Northumbrian) Division, 1942–1944, and XIII Corps, 1944–1945, Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff, 1945–1947, and Quartermaster-General to the Forces, 1947–1950
- Major-General Sir Claude Liardet KBE CB DSO TD DL (1881–1966), GOC 56th (London) Division 1938–41 and first Commandant-General of the RAF Regiment 1942–45
- Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart Blacker OBE (1887–1964), soldier, adventurer, and weapons designer
- Major-General Robert Cottrell-Hill CB CBE DSO & Bar MC (1903-1965), Commandant of the British Sector in Berlin
- Colonel Charles Fairlie Dobbs CIE CBE DSO (1872-1936), British Indian Army officer
- Major-General Louis Lipsett CB CMG (1874-1918), a senior officer in the British Army and Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War
- Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Meek CMG (1883-1955), British Indian Army and Indian Political Service officer
- General Sir Henry Augustus Smyth KCMG (1825-1906), served in the Crimean War and was present at the Siege of Sevastopol, served in South Africa and became Governor of Malta
- Major-General Timothy Toyne Sewell DL (born 1941), Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, 1991-1994
- Admiral of the Fleet Sir Michael Le Fanu GCB DSC (1913–1970), Director-General, Naval Weapons, 1958–1960, Controller of the Navy, 1961–1965, Commander-in-Chief, Middle East, 1965–1968, and First Sea Lord, 1968–1970
- Admiral Sir Robert Burnett GBE KCB CStJ DSO (1887–1959), Commander-in-Chief, South Atlantic, 1944–1946, and Flag Officer Plymouth, 1946–1950
- Vice-Admiral John Hughes-Hallett CB DSO (1901–1972), Naval Commander during the Dieppe Raid, 1942, Commodore commanding Channel Assault Force and Naval Chief of Staff, 1942-1943, Head of Naval Branch at Supreme Allied Command, 1943, Vice-Controller of the Navy, 1950–1952, Flag Officer, Heavy Squadron, Home Fleet, 1952-1953, Conservative MP for Croydon, 1954-1964, credited with proposing the idea of the Mulberry Harbour
- Rear-Admiral Sir (Cecil) Charles Hughes-Hallett KCB CBE (1898-1985), Chief of Staff, Home Fleet, 1950-1951, Head of British Naval Mission, Washington, 1952-1954
- Rear-Admiral Edward Leopold Dyke Acland MVO CB (1878-1968)
- Air Vice-Marshal Sir Sefton Brancker KCB AFC (1877–1930), Director-General of Civil Aviation, 1922–1930, and victim of R101 disaster
- Air Chief Marshal Sir Charles Burnett KCB CBE DSO (1882–1945), Air Officer Commanding British Forces in Iraq, 1932–1935, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief RAF Training Command, 1936–1939, and Chief of the Air Staff, Royal Australian Air Force, 1939–1942
- Air Vice-Marshal Sir Paul Maltby KCVO KBE CB DSO AFC DL (1892–1971), Air Officer Commanding Java, 1942, Black Rod, 1946–1962 and Deputy Lieutenant of Southampton
- Marshal of the RAF Sir Thomas Pike GCB CBE DFC & Bar DL (1906–1983), Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, 1953–1956, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief RAF Fighter Command, 1956–1959, Chief of the Air Staff, 1960–1964, and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, 1964–1967
- Marshal of the RAF Cyril Newall, 1st Baron Newall GCB OM GCMG CBE AM (1886–1963), Air Member for Supply and Organisation, 1935–1937, Chief of the Air Staff, 1937–1940, and Governor-General of New Zealand, 1940–1946
- Group Captain Brian Kingcome DSO DFC & Bar (1917-1994), British flying ace of the Second World War, most notable for serving with No. 92 Squadron RAF during the Battle of Britain
- Air Chief Marshal Sir David Lee GBE CB (1912-2004), senior RAF officer during World War II and a senior commander in the 1950s and early 1960s
- Claude Grahame-White (1879–1959), pioneering British aviator
- Bob Feilden CBE FRS FREng FIMechE (1917-2004), mechanical engineer, and an important part of the Power Jets team that developed the first jet engine with Frank Whittle in the early 1940s
- John Dudley North CBE (1893-1968), aircraft designer and chairman of Boulton Paul Aircraft
- Hubert Murray Burge (1862–1925), Headmaster of Winchester College, 1901–1910, Bishop of Southwark, 1910–1919, and Bishop of Oxford, 1919–1925
- Paget Wilkes (1871–1934), missionary in Japan
- Wilfred Askwith KCMG (1890-1962), Bishop of Blackburn, 1942-1954, and Bishop of Gloucester, 1954-1962
- Peter Booth MBE (1907-1993), Archdeacon of Lewes, 1959-1971
- Robin Smith (born 1936), Bishop of Hertford, 1990-2001
- Walter Carey (1875-1955), Bishop of Bloemfontein, 1921-1935, and theological writer, who played international rugby for the British Isles XV on their 1896 tour of South Africa
- David Farmbrough (1929-2013), Archdeacon of St Albans, 1974-1981, Bishop of Bedford, 1981-1993
- Thomas Fry (1846-1930), Dean of Lincoln, 1910-1930
- Noel Hall (1891-1962), Bishop of Chota Nagpur, 1936-1957
- Bertram Lasbrey (1881-1976), Bishop on the Niger, 1922-1945
- George Maclear (1833-1902), clergyman and theological writer
- Walter Pym (1856-1908), Bishop of Mauritius, 1898-1903, Bishop of Bombay, 1903-1908, and grandfather of Francis Pym, (1922-2008), Foreign Secretary under Margaret Thatcher
- Percy Robb (1902-1976), Archdeacon of Kingston-upon-Thames, 1953-1976
- William Surtees (1871-1956), Archdeacon of Exeter, 1925-1930, Bishop of Crediton, 1930-1954
The Civil Service
- Sir Pierson Dixon GCMG CB (1904–1965), Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary, 1943–1948, UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations, 1954–1960, and Ambassador to France, 1960–1965
- Sir Percivale Liesching CMG KCMG KCB GCMG KCVO (1895–1973), Permanent Under-Secretary, Ministry of Food, 1946–1948, Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, 1949–1955, and High Commissioner in South Africa, 1955–1958
- Sir Charles Belgrave KBE (1894-1969), Chief Administrator to the rulers of Bahrain, 1926-1957
- Gilbert Campion, 1st Baron Campion GCB (1882-1958), Clerk of the House of Commons, 1937-1948
- Martin Clemens CBE MC AM (1915-2009), colonial administrator who helped prepare the Solomon Islands for resistance to Japanese occupation
- Sir George Godber GCB (1908-2009), Chief Medical Officer 1960-1973
- Sir James Hennessy KBE CMG (born 1923), British diplomat and Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, 1982-1987
- Sir Walter Hillier KCMG CB (1849-1927), British diplomat, author, Sinologist and Professor of Chinese at King's College London
- Alan Holme CIE (1872-1931), British administrator in India
Industry and Commerce
- Sir Peter Parker KBE LVO (1924–2002), chairman of British Rail, 1976–1983
- Sir Reginald Butler, 1st Baronet (1866-1933), chairman of United Dairies
- Miles Young (born 1959), chairman and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, 2009- 
- Julius Drewe (1856-1931), creator of Home and Colonial Stores, once one of the United Kingdom's largest retail chains, and builder of Castle Drogo in Devon
- Sir William Harpur (c.1496-1574), Sheriff of the City of London, 1556–1557, Lord Mayor of London, 1561-1562
- John Witherow (born 1952), Editor of The Sunday Times, 1995-2013, Editor of The Times, 2013-
- Will Gompertz (born 1965), BBC Arts Editor
- Michael Brunson OBE (born 1940), former ITN Political Editor, Diplomatic Editor and Washington Correspondent
- Michael De-la-Noy (1934–2002), author, journalist and gay-rights activist
- Rex Alston (1901–1994), a master at the school, 1924–1941, before becoming a cricket, rugby and athletics commentator for BBC Radio
- Henry Corbet (1820–1878), agricultural writer and editor
- E H D Sewell (1872-1947), cricket and rugby journalist, sports writer
- Erskine May, 1st Baron Farnborough KCB PC DCL (1815-1886), British constitutional theorist and the original author of Erskine May: Parliamentary Practice
- Henry Hawkins, Baron Brampton (1817–1907), barrister, Judge in the High Court of Justice, 1876–1898, and Privy Councillor
- Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson (1871-1951), barrister, Judge in the High Court of Justice, 1921-1939, Privy Councillor, and grandfather of Sir Richard Branson
- H. H. Munro (Saki) (1870–1916), short story writer
- Frederick Carruthers Cornell (1867–1921), South African short story writer and poet
- John Fowles (1926–2005), author of The Magus and The French Lieutenant's Woman
- Shoo Rayner (born 1956), children's book author and illustrator
- Dr Herbert Kennedy Andrews FRCO (1904-1965), composer, musicologist, organist and Fellow in Music at New College, Oxford
- Richard Kerr (born 1944), songwriter
- Alec Dankworth (born 1960), jazz bassist
- Marius de Vries (born 1961), composer and producer
- Andrew Manze (born 1965), Associate Director of the Academy of Ancient Music, 1996-2003, Artistic Director of The English Concert, 2003-2007, and Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, 2006-
- Philip Stopford (born 1977), English sacred music choral composer and choir director
- Xander Rawlins, singer-songwriter and documentary maker
Politicians and Statesmen
- Joseph Godber, Baron Godber of Willington (1914–1980), Conservative MP for Grantham, 1951-1979, Minister of Labour, 1963–1964, and Secretary of State for Agriculture, 1972–1974
- Michael Morris, Baron Naseby (born 1936), Conservative MP for Northampton South, 1974-1997
- Paddy Ashdown, Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon GCMG KBE (born 1941), Liberal Democrat MP for Yeovil, 1983-2001, leader of the Liberal Democrats, 1988–1999, international High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2002–2006
- Sir Gerry Neale (born 1941), Conservative MP for North Cornwall, 1979-1992
- John Carlisle (born 1942), Conservative MP for Luton, 1979-1997
- Bob Clay (born 1946), Labour MP for Sunderland North, 1983-1992
- Malcolm Harbour CBE (born 1947), Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, 1999-
- John Taylor, Baron Taylor of Holbeach CBE FRSA (born 1943), Conservative politician and minister at the Home Office, 2012-
- Desmond Swayne (born 1956), Conservative MP for New Forest West, 1997- , and Parliamentary Private Secretary to David Cameron, 2010-2012
- Brooks Newmark (born 1958), Conservative MP for Braintree, Essex, 2005-
- Stephen Ross, Baron Ross of Newport (1926-1993), Liberal MP for the Isle of Wight, 1974-1987
- Richard Harden DSO MC (1916-2000), Ulster Unionist MP for Armagh, 1948-1954
- Leslie Ruthven Pym (1884-1945), Conservative MP for Monmouthshire, 1939-1945, and father of Francis Pym (1922-2008), Foreign Secretary under Margaret Thatcher
- Sir Richard Wells, 1st Baronet (1879-1957), Conservative MP for Bedford, 1922-1945
- Auberon Herbert, 9th Baron Lucas (1876-1916), Liberal politician and fighter pilot, Under-Secretary of State for War, 1908-1911, Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, 1911, Parliamentary Secretary to the
Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1911-1914, President of the Board of Agriculture, 1914-1915
- Sir Frank Nelson KCMG (1883-1966), Conservative MP for Stroud, 1924-1931, and the first head of Special Operations Executive, 1940-1942
- Freddie Brooks OBE (1883-1947), England rugby international and Rhodesia cricketer
- Stan Harris (1894–1973), rugby international for England and the British Lions, waterpolo international, Davis Cup tennis player for South Africa, South African light-heavyweight boxing champion, Wimbledon mixed doubles winner, and turned down a place in the 1920 Great Britain Olympic squad
- Percy Christopherson (1866-1921), England rugby international and cricketer
- Gilbert Cook (1911-1979), Ireland cricketer and England rugby international
- Harold Abrahams CBE (1899–1978), sprinter, long jumper, barrister and civil servant: winner of the Olympic gold medal in 1924 for the 100 metres sprint; a feat depicted in the film Chariots of Fire
- Brian Disbury (born 1929), cricketer
- Will Smith (born 1982), cricketer
- Alastair Cook MBE (born 1984), England cricketer who has captained England
- Alex Wakely (born 1988), Northamptonshire cricketer and former captain of the England under-19s
- George August (1917-1991), cricketer
- Leslie Baker (1904-1976), cricketer
- Herbert Orr (1865-1940), cricketer
- Cyril Reed (1906-1991), cricketer
- Adrian Shankar (born 1982), cricketer
- William Sime CMG MBE (1909-1983), barrister, Judge and cricketer
- Jack Beresford CBE (1899–1977), oarsman and coach who won five medals (three gold, two silver) at five Olympic Games in succession, 1920-1936
- Phelan Hill (born 1979), men's eight rowing Olympic bronze medalist, 2012
- Edward Vaughan Bevan (1907-1988), Olympic gold medal winner in rowing, 1928
- William Crofts (1846-1912), rower
- James Crowden (born 1927), Olympic rower, 1952
- Martin Bayfield (born 1966), England and British Lions rugby international
- Jumbo Milton (1885–1915), England rugby international while still at school
- Budge Rogers OBE (born 1933), England and British Lions rugby international
- Andy Gomarsall MBE (born 1974), England rugby international
- Will Skinner (born 1984), Oxford Harlequins and England rugby player
- Dave Callam (born 1983), Scotland rugby international
- Sir Arthur Blakiston, 7th Baronet MC (1892-1974), England and British Lions rugby international
- Sir Basil McFarland, 2nd Baronet CBE, ERD (1898-1986), Ireland rugby international
- Basil Maclear (1881–1915), Ireland rugby international
- Curly Hammond (1879-1963), England rugby international
- List of Victoria Crosses by School
- Nobel Prize laureates by secondary school affiliation
- List of high schools producing multiple Olympic gold medalists
- Bedford Preparatory School
- "Bedford School | Bedford | LEA:Bedford | Bedfordshire". The Good Schools Guide. 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- Godber, Joyce (1973). The Harpur Trust 1552-1973. White Crescent Press Ltd. ISBN 0-9502917-0-6.
- Halpin, Tony (2005-11-10). "Independent schools face huge fines over cartel to fix fees". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- "The Office of Fair Trading: OFT names further trustees as part of the independent schools settlement". Oft.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "www.bedfordschool.org". www.bedfordschool.org. 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- Barlen, M E: Bedford School and the Great Fire (London: Quiller Press, 1984) p.86
- "Detailed Record". Imagesofengland.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "www.bedfordschool.org.uk ''25th Anniversary of Bedford School’s Great Fire'', March 2004". Bedfordschool.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "www.bedfordschool.org.uk ''An interview with Mr Simms, who celebrated 50 years with Bedford School this week'', November 2009". Bedfordschool.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Detailed Record". Imagesofengland.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "An introduction to Bedford School Music School". Bedford School. 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Other matches played on Bedford School Ground". Cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Minor Counties Championship Matches played on Bedford School Ground". Cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Minor Counties Trophy Matches played on Bedford School Ground". Cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "List-A Matches played on Bedford School Ground". Cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Second XI Championship Matches played on Bedford School Ground". Cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Second XI Trophy Matches played on Bedford School Ground". Cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- Randall, Charles (2008-04-16). "Alastair Cook reprises his original hits". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-03-03.
- "Bedford School". Bedford School. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- F.A.M. Webster, Our Great Public Schools, 1937.
- Biogr. Mems Fell. R. Soc. 1978 24, 14-31 doi:10.1098/rsbm.1978.0002
- Professor Richard D'Aeth, obituary in The Independent dated May 5, 2008
- John Sargeaunt, Ernest Hockliffe, (1925), A History of Bedford School, page 224, (T.F. Unwin, ltd.)
- L, Klemen (1999-2000). "Air Vice-Marshal Sir Paul (Copeland) Maltby". Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941–1942.
- Godber, Joyce (1973). The Harpur Trust 1552-1973. White Crescent Press Ltd. ISBN 0-9502917-0-6.
- "Phelan Hill | Biographies". British Rowing. 1979-07-21. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- M.E. Barlen, M.P. Stambach and D.P.C. Stileman (1984). Bedford School And The Great Fire. Quiller Press. ISBN 0-907621-37-6.
- De-la-Noy, Michael (1999). Bedford School: A History. Bedford School. ISBN 0-9536685-0-9.
- Sargeaunt, John & Hockliffe, Ernest (1925). A History Of Bedford School. F.R.Hocliffe & T. Fisher Unwin Ltd. ISBN N/A.
- Godber, Joyce (1973). The Harpur Trust 1552-1973. White Crescent Press Ltd. ISBN 0-9502917-0-6.
- Bedford School official website
- Profile on the ISC website
- Profile at the Good Schools Guide
- OFT price fixing article in The Guardian.
- Bedford School Ground at CricketArchive
- Bedford School Ground at Cricinfo