X:1 T:Bedfordshire March, The M:C L:1/8 R:March B:Thompson - The Compleat Tutor for the Fife (1760, p. 31) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G d2 d>d d2c2|B2 B>B B2A2|(G3 A/B/) (A3 B/c/)|B2 B>B B2 A>B| c2B2d2 cB|(c3d/e/) d2c2|(3BAB (3cBA G2 TA2|G>GG>G G4:| d2 A>A A2B2|A>GAc>B A2B2|c2B2 A2G2|A2 A>A A2 B>c| d2 Bc d2 ec|d2 Bc d2 ec|d>Bc>A (3BAG (3dcB|TB2 A>A A2D2| G2 (3GAB A2 (3ABc|B2 (3Bcd c2 (3cde|(3dgf (3gdc B2TA2|G2 G>G G4:|]
BEDFORDSHIRE MARCH. AKA and see "Jove in His Chair," "King of Prussia's March (2)," "Major Reed's March," "Odd Fellows' March (The)," "Suffolk March (1)." English, March (4/4 time). England, Yorkshire. G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The name Bedford is an Old English name derived from a man's name, Bedda, who was associated with a ford in a river (Matthews, 1972). The march can be found in several fife and oboe tutors and musicians' manuscripts of the latter 18th century, beginning with Longman, Lukey & Co. Compleat Instructions for the Fife (London 1770), Charles and Samuel Thompson's Compleat Tutor for the Fife (London, 1760 & 1770), Longman & Broderip's Entire New and Compleat Instructions for the Fife (London, 1780), and others.
The tune was used by Kane O'Hara in his burletta Midas (1764) as the melody for his opening air "Jove in His Chair" (although the similar "King of Prussia's March" was the indicated tune). It was entered into American Henry Livingston's copybook as "Major Reed's March," and was printed in the mid-19th century by the Hamiltons and Elias Howe music publishing firms as "Odd Fellows' March (The)," associated with the social club of that name in both Britain and America. American music publisher Samuel Holyoke printed "Bedfordshire March" under the title "Suffolk March (1)" in his c. 1800 fife tutor, and it was entered under the latter title by flute player John Beach in his turn of the 19th century music copybook, and theirs were not the only early 19th century American publications and manuscripts to do so.