The titles of Earl or Duke of Bedford were created several times in the peerage of England. It was first created for Enguerrand VII de Coucy, son-in-law of King Edward III, in the 14th century. Later, a Dukedom of Bedford was created for King Henry IV's third son, John, who later served as regent of France. It was created again in 1470 for George Nevill, nephew of Warwick the Kingmaker, and again in 1485 for Jasper Tudor, uncle of King Henry VII.
The Russell family currently holds the titles of Earl and Duke of Bedford. John Russell, a close advisor of Henry VIII and Edward VI, was granted the title of Earl of Bedford in 1551, and his descendant William, 5th Earl, was created Duke following the Glorious Revolution.
The subsidiary titles of the Duke of Bedford, all in the peerage of England, are: Marquess of Tavistock (created 1694), Earl of Bedford (1550), Baron Russell of Cheneys (1539), Baron Russell of Thornhaugh (1603) and Baron Howland (1695). The courtesy title of the Duke of Bedford's eldest son and heir is Marquess of Tavistock.
Earls of Bedford, first creation (1366)
Dukes of Bedford, first creation (1414)
Dukes of Bedford, second creation (1470)
Dukes of Bedford, third creation (1485)
Earls of Bedford, second creation (1551)
Dukes of Bedford, fourth creation (1694)