BMS has its origins in the Bedford Charity, born from the endowments left by Sir William Harpur in the sixteenth century.
Originally it was known as ‘the Writing School’, teaching copper plate handwriting in what is now the old Town Hall in St. Paul’s Square, Bedford. In 1834 it moved to prestigious mock Tudor Gothic premises, designed by Edward Blore in Harpur Square, the frontage of which is now part of the Harpur (shopping) Centre. The site became increasingly cramped, and in 1974 BMS moved again to its purpose-built premises on Manton Lane.
The School has had four names – the Writing School, the English School, the Commercial School and finally Bedford Modern School, the last change being made in 1873 to reflect the School’s modern curriculum, providing an education for the professions. Until the Second World War BMS provided education not only for the locality but also for many colonial and military personnel seeking good education for their young families. Since then BMS has grown considerably, becoming an independent school in 1976 and a coeducational day school in 2003, continuing to provide an education which is modern, rigorous and relevant.