Admiral George Augustus Bedford was a successful specialist officer who commanded surveying vessels for 20 years, was eventually appointed Assistant Hydrographer in 1863 and became Marine Advisor to the Board of Trade shortly afterwards. Bedford was serving in a Navy that was small in historic terms, but it was a Navy which, under John Barrow, as Secretary to the Admiralty, and Frances Beaufort as Hydrographer, put real resources into exploration, surveying and associated scientific research. Bedford never had a starring role, never took part in the high-profile exploration of the Arctic, but his methodical surveying is typical of the work which contributed to this expansion. Bedford was supplied with a modest set of equipment for surveying and for the preparation of charts, and clearly also took some of his own works of reference. Bedford was as meticulous a journal keeper as he was a surveyor.