Bedford, an inland county of England, bounded on the N. and N.W. by Northamptonshire, on the E. by the counties of Huntingdon, Cambridge, and Hertford, and on the W. by the counties of Buckingham and Northampton. It is the smallest county in England, with the exception of Middlesex, Huntingdon, and Rutland. Desc. Generally level, or slightly undulating, except on the S., where it is crossed by the Chiltern Hills. The western and eastern parts of the county are, in many parts, sandy; the centre is flat, and three-fourths of the whole is judged to be alluvial soil. Limestone, coarse marble, and imperfect coal are obtained here ; and a variety of fossils and petrifactions, particularly the Cornu Ammonis, and different shells, as also petrified wood. Rivers. The Ouse, lvel, Lea, and Ouzel. Manf. Conﬁned almost exclusively to the plaiting of straw and making thread lace, in which nearly three-fourths of the female population are employed. Towns. Bedford, Leighton-Buzzard, Ampthill, Biggleswade, Woburn, Dunstable, and Luton. Ext. 36½ miles from N. to S., by 22½ from E. to W. Area, 295,582 acres. Pop. 135,287.
Bedfordshire is bounded, North by Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire, East by hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, South by Buckinghamshire and hertfordshire, and West by Buckinghamshire. It is of an oval form, about 34 miles long and 19 broad. The area is 463 square miles, or 295,320 statute acres. Rivers, the Ouse, and the Ivel. This county is in the Province or Canterbury, in the Diocese or Lincoln, and in the Norfolk Circuit. — It is divided into nine hundreds; namely, Barford, Biggleswade, Clifton, Flitt, Manshead, Redbornstoke, Stodden, Willey, Wixamtree. There are 131 Parishes and Townships, and 10 Market Towns. population, 107,936.
Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850