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Transcript

of

The Rev Thomas Bedford, BD and his descendants.

Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. IX, (January 1916 to January 1917), pp. 172-3.

by

W.S.B.H.

Prepared by Michael Steer

The family of Bedford has resided in this and the adjoining county for several generations, but its places of residence have been various, having been necessarily determined by the devotion of almost all its members to the clerical profession. A descendant William Bedford having entered naval service was promoted to the rank of captain after the battle of 2 June 1794, and to Rear Admiral in 1812. The Note’s author seeks information on the dates of birth of several members of the family. The extract, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers..

The family of Bedford has resided in this and the adjoining county for several generations, but its places of residence have been various, having been necessarily determined by the devotion of almost all its members to the clerical profession. A descendant William Bedford having entered naval service was promoted to the rank of captain after the battle of 2 June 1794, and to Rear Admiral in 1812. The Note’s author seeks information on the dates of birth of several members of the family. The extract, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

Note 137. The Revd. Thomas Bedford, B.D,, and his Descendants. - In his day the Revd. Thomas Bedford, B.D., was a man of considerable mark. "Lecturer" at St. Andrew's Church, Plymouth, from 1631 to 1643, he was called twice to preach at St. Paul's Cross, but when appointed to the living of St. Andrew on the death of Dr. Aaron Wilson, the town authorities removed and imprisoned him. The Parliament also removed him from Plymouth to London. Later he became Rector of St. Martin Outwich, and lectured at St. Antholm's.

He had three sons, John, James and William. John became Rector of St. Gerrans, Cornwall, in 1645, This Rector of St. Gerrans had five sons, all clergymen beneficed m Devon and Cornwall. The eldest son was Head Master of Plymouth Grammar School from 1674 to the time of his death in 1738, at the age of ninety. In 1758 the Revd. John Bedford, M.A., became Vicar of Charles, Plymouth, and remained so till his death in 1784, at seventy- four years of age.

As an old " Charley boy," I want very much to unravel the mystery that seems to hang over the connection of these three Plymouth clergymen. What seems necessary to trace the relationship is to obtain information first when and where the sons of the Plymouth lecturer were born and what became of James and William ? According to the lecturer's Will, dated 1651, William was not then of full age, so that he must have been born very much later than his elder brother John, who became Rector of St. Gerrans in 1645. Then it is necessary to follow the issue of the Rector of Gerrans. His elder son was born in 1648, and became, as I have said, Head Master of the Grammar School in Plymouth. John Bedford, M.A., the Vicar of Charles, born in 1710, was teste C. S. Gilbert, the youngest son of a Revd. William Bedford, who was Rector of Tregony from 1694 to 1727. Was this the William, youngest son of Thos. Bedford, the Rector of St. Martin Outwich, or was he of a later generation ? To decide this knotty question we want information as to the names and dates of birth of the four younger sons of the Rector of Gerrans.

Perhaps some of your readers may be able to come to our help and furnish the information desired.

                                W.S.B.H.