Bamford is Judge Turpin's lackey. He is portrayed as a short, portly and greasy man. He wears a bowler hat and coat and carries a walking stick that doubles as a weapon. In early plays, he was bearded with short hair, while in the movie (portrayed by Timothy Spall), he is clean shaven with long, dirty blond hair.
It was the Beadle who ordered the police to arrest Benjamin Barker on a false charge issued by Turpin and the Beadle called on Lucy Barker to invite her to the Judge's ball where she was drugged and raped. The Beadle is relied on by everyone to inspect the health regulations of the city and do other things that are required by the town inhabitants. When the Judge spots Anthony Hope gandering at his ward Johanna Barker, he orders the Beadle to beat up Anthony to teach him a lesson.
When the Beadle is in the local market place, he is asked by Sweeney Todd to judge a shaving competition between Todd and Adolfo Pirelli. He sees Todd's amazing skill as a barber and promises that he will visit the barber before the week is out. Later when he is walking home from the courtroom with Turpin, (where the Judge has just sentenced a young child to be hanged) Turpin tells the Beadle of his plans to marry Johanna so as to protect her from the harsh world.Judge Turpin is a little perturbed about how Johanna rejected him, the Beadle is reminded of Sweeney Todd's shaving skill and sings Ladies and Their Sensitivities telling Turpin about Todd. The Judge accepts only to discover the plan Anthony has to elope with Johanna. Turpin leaves and promises never to return. A little while later, Mrs. Lovett's pie shop business is booming but people are starting to notice the acrid smell that radiates from her chimney. As the Beadle is in charge of health regulations, it is his job to attend to the complaints.
When he arrives at the pie shop, Sweeney Todd lures him up to his barber shop with the promise of a new cologne that 'the ladies will greatly thank him for' the Beadle is then killed and dropped through the trap door.
The role was originated by Jack Eric Williams in the 1979 Broadway production.
Michael McCarty portrayed the role in the 1989 Broadway revival.
Timothy Spall portrayed the role in the 2007 film version.