Bedford was established in 1730 as Narragansett Number 5 for the benefit of soldiers who fought against the Narragansett Indians in Rhode Island. Twenty years later little had been done to the land, and it was regranted first as Souhegan East, then as Bedford in 1750. The town was named for Lord John Russell, fourth Duke of Bedford, a close friend of Governor Benning Wentworth, whose first wife, Diana Spencer, was cousin to the Duke of Marlborough. The town's first moderator was Major John Goffe, son of Colonel John Goffe for whom Goffstown was named.
Bedford ranked eighth in numeric change over 56 years. Population change totaled 18,782, from 3,636 in 1960 to 22,418 in 2016. The largest decennial percent change was 62 percent between 1970 and 1980. The 2016 Census estimate for Bedford was 22,418 residents, which ranked 12th among New Hampshire's incorporated cities and towns. This town has 684.3 persons per square mile of land area. (info from NHES website)