Harry Bedford (politician)

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Harry Bedford
Harry Bedford, 1911.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Dunedin
In office
Preceded by Alfred Richard Barclay
Personal details
Born 31 August 1877
Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Died 17 February 1918
Whangarei, New Zealand
Political party Liberal

Harry Dodgshun Bedford (31 August 1877 – 17 February 1918) was a New Zealand university academic and Member of Parliament for the City of Dunedin.


Early life[edit]

Bedford was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, in August 1877.[1] He later became a professor of history and economics at the University of Otago in Dunedin.

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1902–1905 15th City of Dunedin Independent Liberal
1905 Changed allegiance to: New Liberal

Harry Bedford represented one of the multi-member City of Dunedin seats in the New Zealand Parliament from 1902 to 1905.[2]

Bedford was an Independent Liberal in 1902 topped the poll for Dunedin City with 10,088 votes. He became the sensation of the 1902 election: a political novice who had obtained the highest individual vote ever recorded in New Zealand. The Lyttelton Times described him as: "the 'idol of Dunedin'...young, good-looking, able, earnest, energetic and highly attractive as a speaker"..[3] In 1905, Bedford stood for the new seat of Dunedin North but was not successful.[1]

He contested Dunedin West in 1911 as an Independent polling 3,635 votes to 778 votes for Jim Munro. The seat was held by John Millar on the second ballot. Harry Bedford joined the United Labour Party in 1912.[4]


Bedford drowned while swimming at Whangarei on 17 February 1918.[5]


  • Bedford, Harry D. (1908), Political Fingerposts: an Enquiry into what Labour should do and should not do, Dunedin, [N.Z.]: Printed by the Evening Star Co. 
  • —— (1916), Cost of Living in New Zealand: War Profit and War Finance, Dunedin, [N.Z.]: Printed by the Evening Star Co. 
  • ——; et al. (1904), The Land Question in Parliament, Wellington, [N.Z.]: Government Printer 


  1. ^ a b Gill, Michael. "Bedford, Harry Dodgshun 1877-1918". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 183.
  3. ^ Lyttelton Times. 26 November 1902. p. 6.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Gustafson, Barry (1961), The Advent of the New Zealand Labour Party 1910-1919 [M.A. - University of Auckland], p. 299 
  5. ^ "Bathing fatality". The Sun. 18 February 1918. p. 4. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Chappell, A.B. (1918), An Appreciation of the Late H.D. Bedford, M.A., L.L.D., Professor of Economics, Wellington, [N.Z.]: Wright & Carman 
  • Gustafson, Barry (1961), The Advent of the New Zealand Labour Party 1910-1919 [M.A. - University of Auckland] 
  • Paul, John T. (1919), Professor Bedford: his Life and Work, Invercargill, [N.Z.]: Southland Times Co. 
  • Whitcher, G. F. (1966), The New Liberal Party 1905 [M.A.(Hons.) - University of Canterbury] 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 
  • Wood, G. Antony (ed.) (1996), Ministers and Members in the New Zealand Parliament, Dunedin, [N.Z.]: Otago University Press, ISBN 1-877133-00-0