Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Randolph Bedford

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Preceded by  Harry Coyne
Nationality  Australian
Resting place  Cremation
Succeeded by  Harry O'Shea
Preceded by  Himself
Role  Poet
Succeeded by  Himself
Name  Randolph Bedford

Randolph Bedford
Full Name  George Randolph Bedford
Born  27 June 1868 Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia (1868-06-27)
Spouse(s)  Mary Henrietta Arrowsmith (m. 1889; separated 1912), Ada Billings (partner 1915–41)
Died  July 7, 1941, Brisbane, Australia
Books  Naught to Thirty-three, Billy Pagan, Mining Engineer, White Australia, The Circled Continent

Political party  Australian Labor Party

Randolph Bedford (born George Randolph Bedford 27 June 1868 – 7 July 1941) was an Australian poet, novelist, short story writer and Queensland state politician.


Early life

Bedford was born in Camperdown, Sydney, the son of Alfred Bedford, who migrated from Yorkshire, England in 1859 and obtained work as a house painter.

He was educated at the Newtown state school. At the age of 14, he worked with a Sydney solicitors firm as an office-boy. At 16 years of age he worked in the western district of New South Wales, shooting rabbits. He carried copies of Carlyle's French Revolution, Shakespeare and the Bible. He worked for a year as a clerk in Hay and joined up with a repertory company run by Edmund Duggan, in Wagga Wagga .

Literary career

Bedford had a short story accepted by The Bulletin in 1886, the first of many contributions. In 1888 he worked for a time on the Argus (Broken Hill, NSW), and in 1889 on The Age, Melbourne for about two years. Freelancing followed, verse, short stories and sketches, written while travelling in Australia searching for payable mining fields. From 1901 to 1904 Bedford was in Europe and wrote a series of travel sketches. In 1916 these were collected and published under the title of Explorations in Civilization. His first novel, True Eyes and the Whirlwind, appeared in London in 1903, and his Snare of Strength was published two years later. Three short novels appeared afterwards in the Bookstall series, Billy Pagan, Mining Engineer (1911), The Silver Star (1917) and Aladdin and the Boss Cockie (1919), the latter also adapted into a play in four acts. He had also made a collection of his Bulletin verse in 1904, however the unbound sheets were all burned during a fire at the printers, except about six copies which were bound without title-page and apparently given to friends. A few years before his death, Bedford stated that he did not regret the fire as some of the verses included "could only be excused on account of his extreme youth at the time of writing". He was then preparing a selection of his verse for the press which, however, was not published. Other short stories included: Fourteen Fathoms by Quetta Rock and The Language of Animals.

With Australian authors Henry Lawson and Victor Daley et al., he was a member of the elite Dawn and Dusk Club.

Political career

In 1917 Bedford entered the Queensland Legislative Council, on a platform to secure its abolition (which occurred in 1922). In 1923 he was elected as Labor candidate to the Legislative Assembly for Warrego, a seat which he held until his resignation in 1937 to contest the Division of Maranoa in the Australian House of Representatives. Bedford was defeated, but was again elected to his old seat in the Legislative Assembly. He had an impatient streak and was not elected to cabinet. He was an ardent Protectionist, and decried the way the wealth of Australia was exported to pay for shoddy goods which could have been produced locally.

Bedford died in 1941 and was cremated at Mount Thompson crematorium.


Randolph Bedford Wikipedia

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