Bedford, the name of counties in three of the United States. I. A S. county of Pennsylvania, on the Maryland border; area, about 1,000 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 29,635. The surface is broken by numerous ridges of the Alle-ghanies, whose principal chain forms the W. border of the county. One half of the surface is unfit for cultivation, but in this portion iron ore is abundant. The Pittsburgh and Connells-ville railroad passes through the S. W. corner, and the Huntingdon and Broad Top road has its terminus near the centre of the county. The chief productions in 1870 were 338,074 bushels of wheat, 118,091 of rye, 405,261 of Indian corn, 376,296 of oats, 35,491 of buckwheat, 104,657 of potatoes, 28,623 tons of hay, 457,241 lbs. of butter, and 60,705 of wool. There were 8,249 horses, 8,079 milch cows, 10,189 other cattle, 21,746 sheep, and 15,302 swine. Capital, Bedford. II. A S. W. county of Virginia, at the E. base of the Blue Ridge, bounded N. E. by the James and S. W. by the Staunton river; area, 504 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 25,327, of whom 10,770 were colored. The surface is hilly and mountainous and the soil fertile. The Atlantic, Mississippi, and Ohio railroad passes through the county.
The chief productions in 1870 were 165,560 bushels of wheat, 258,995 of Indian corn, 249,799 of oats, and 1,956,157 lbs. of tobacco. There were 3,194 horses, 3,995 milch cows, 5,659 other cattle, 5,935 sheep, and 12,649 swine. Capital, Liberty. III. A central county of Tennessee, intersected by Duck river; area, 550 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 24,333, of whom 6,484 were colored. The surface is undulating and the soil fertile. The county is traversed by the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad. The chief productions in 1870 were 212,922 bushels of wheat, 1,010,642 of Indian corn, 104,801 of oats, 35,516 lbs. of wool, and 86!) bales of cotton. There were 6,255 horses, 2,372 mules and asses, 4,568 milch cows, 8,916 other cattle, 25,204 sheep, and 38,962 swine. Capital, Shelbyville.
Bedford, a post borough, capital of Bedford county, Penn., 200 m. by rail W. of Philadelphia, on the Raystown branch of the Juniata river; pop. in 1870, 1,247. It is celebrated for its mineral springs, situated in a valley about 1 1/2 from the town, and much resorted to by invalids in summer. The water contains carbonic acid, sulphate of magnesia, sulphate of lime, and muriate of soda. It has two weekly newspapers.
Bedford, a municipal and parliamentary borough of England, capital of Bedfordshire, situated on the Ouse, 41 m. N.W. of London by a new branch of the Midland railway; pop. in 1871, 16,849. The town is well paved, and divided by the Ouse into two parts, which are connected by a fine stone bridge. John Bunyan preached here and composed his "Pilgrim's Progress" in the county jail. The charitable and educational institutions of Bedford are larger and better than those of most English towns. Many of them were endowed by Sir William Harpur in the reign of Edward VI.; his bequests produce over £13,000 a year, and support several schools of different grades, including a grammar school (which has been enlarged since 1861, and is now known as the Tudor collegiate building), and over 50 houses for paupers. The old church of St. Peter's, with a curious Norman door and an antique font, was enlarged in 1846. The Bunyan meeting house, originally a Baptist chapel, has been rebuilt, and was opened in 1850. Among the prominent public edifices, the Bedford school buildings are remarkable for their beauty and extent; the public library is also a fine establishment.
There is an excellent corn exchange, and a new cattle market was opened in 1867. There is an active trade in wheat, barley, malt, coal, timber, and iron. The principal manufactures are pillow lace, straw plait, shoes, and agricultural implements, the iron ploughs of the Howard establishment being the most renowned of England. Bedford has sent two members to parliament ever since the end of the 13th century, besides the two returned by the county. It is supposed to be identical with the town of Bedcanford mentioned in the Saxon Chronicle, the scene of conflicts between the Saxons and Britons late in the 6th century, and 400 years later between the Saxons and the Danes, who burned it early in the 11th century. The first charter on record was granted to the town by Henry II., and the last by Charles II.