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William John Pickett Bedford

1805 – 1869

William John Pickett Bedford (1805–1869) was the eldest of three children of Anglican clergyman, William Bedford (1781–1852), and his wife, Eleanor, and came to Van Diemen’s Land with his family in 1823 following the appointment of his father to a chaplaincy in the colony. Like his younger brother, Edward – who later proved to be one of Thomas Griffiths Wainewright’s most significant patrons and supporters – William was sent back to England for a university education, returning to Van Diemen’s Land in 1831 after a period at St John’s College, Cambridge. William was ordained in Hobart in 1832; he married Mary Anne Banks in Hobart the following year and thereafter took up a parish in Campbell Town in the Van Diemen’s Land midlands, remaining there until the 1850s. Bedford returned to England with Mary Anne and their three children in 1859 and became the vicar of Bramford, Sussex. Bedford came to be regarded as ‘a man of rare energy’ for the improvements he made to the church there and for the school he established in the village. Bedford never returned to Australia; he died in Hastings in May 1869 having ‘suffered for some time from an exhausting malady.’

Updated 2018