The son of an Essex yeoman, William Bedell attended Emmanuel College (B.A. 1588-89, M.A. 1592, Fellow 1593, B.D. 1599) where he was a college friend of Bishop Joseph Hall. Bedell was vicar at Bury St. Edmunds (1602-07), chaplain to Sir Henry Wotton when he was ambassador to Venice (1607-10), and Rector of Horningsby, Suffolk (1616). In 1627 Charles I appointed him Provost of Trinity College Dublin; in 1629 Laud appointed him Bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh. Bedell was a notable reformer of the Irish Church prior to his imprisonment and death in the uprisings of 1642.
An examination of certain motives to recusansie. 1628.
The A, B, C, or the institution of a Christian. 1631.
A sermon, preached at Christ Church, Dublyn. 1659.
A Protestant Memorial: or the shepherd's tale of the Pouder-plott. 1713.
Original letters concerning the steps taken towards a reformation of religion at Venice. 1742.