Bedford, the county town of Bedfordshire, on the navigable Ouse, 49 miles NNW. of London by rail. The Ouse is spanned here by two bridges - a stone one of five arches, 306 feet long, built in 1811 at a cost of £15,000, and an iron one, built in 1888 at a cost of £6000. The charitable and educational institutions are mostly due to Sir W. Harper, Lord Mayor of London (c. 1496-1573). He in 1566 founded a free school, and endowed it with 13 acres of land in Holborn. The enormously increased value of the property (from £150 to £15,000 a year) enables the trustees to maintain grammar, modern, and preparatory schools for boys, the same class of schools for girls, and almshouses. The chief manufacture is that of agricultural implements. Lace-making is also carried on; straw-plaiting has declined. An embankment beside the Ouse forms a pretty promenade; and a people's park of 60 acres was opened in 1888. Bedford returns one member (till 1885 two) to parliament. Pop. (1851) 12,693; (1901) 35,144. Bedford (Bedican-fortha) was the scene of a battle between the Britons and Saxons in 571. The Danes burned it in 1010. Bunyan, who was born at Elstow, near Bedford, was for twelve years a prisoner in Bedford jail, and ministered to the Nonconformist congregation in Mill Lane from 1672 to his death in 1688. His chapel has been twice rebuilt, in 1707 and 1849; but his chair and other relics of him are preserved; whilst a colossal bronze statue of him by Boehm was erected at the cost of the Duke of Bedford in 1874.