Thomas Bedford (historian)

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Thomas Bedford
Died 1773
Nationality British

Thomas Bedford (died 1773) was a nonjuror and church historian, the second son of Hilkiah Bedford, the nonjuror.


Bedford was educated at Westminster School, and proceeded to St. John's College, Cambridge, admitted as sizar (age 17) in May 1724.[1] As a result of his nonjuring principles he did not take a degree, nor did he enter the established church. He was admitted into orders by a non-juror Bishop, and became chaplain in the family of Sir John Cotton, with whom he afterwards lived at Angers. His next home was in the county of Durham, where his sister was married to George Smith, son of Dr. John Smith, the learned editor of Bede. Here Bedford prepared an edition of Symeon of Durham's De Exordio atque Procursu Dunhelmensis Ecclesiæ libellus, from what he supposed to be an original or contemporary manuscript in the cathedral library; from the same manuscript he added "a continuation to the year 1164, and an account of the hard usage Bishop William received from Rufus", and he prefaced the work with a dissertation by Thomas Rudd.[2] This book was published by subscription in 1732.

From Durham Bedford went to live in Derbyshire, at Compton, near Ashbourne, and officiated as minister to the nonjurors in the neighbourhood. He wrote an historical catechism in 1742. The first edition was taken from the Abbé Fleury's "Catéchisme Historique", but the second was so much altered that he omitted the abbé's name from the title-page. Bedford was a friend of Ellis Farneworth, the translator, and is said to have translated for him Fleury's Short History of the Israelites, published in Farneworth's name, in order to raise a few pounds for his friend when in pecuniary distress.[3] Bedford lived at Compton till his death in February 1773.[DNB 1][DNB 2][DNB 3][DNB 4][4]


  1. ^ "Bedford, Thomas (BDFT724T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ Richard Gough, British Topography, i. 329
  3. ^ John Nichols, Literary Anecdotes, ii. 392
  4. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainStephen, Leslie, ed. (1885). "Bedford, Thomas (d.1773) (DNB00)". Dictionary of National Biography. 04. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 112–113. 

DNB references[edit]

These references are found in the DNB article referred to above.

  1. ^ Nichols's Anecdotes, i. 169, ii. 392, vii. 698
  2. ^ Gough's British Topography (under Durham)
  3. ^ Cole's Athenæ
  4. ^ British Museum Catalogue

External links[edit]