Bayley, Thomas Butterworth (DNB00)

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BAYLEY, THOMAS BUTTERWORTH (1744–1802), agriculturist and philanthropist, was descended from an old Lancashire family of good position, and his mother was one of the Dukinfields of Dukinfield, Cheshire. Shortly after completing his education at the university of Edinburgh, he was chosen a justice of the peace for the county palatine of Lancaster. The reputation acquired by him in this office for prudence, judgment, and legal knowledge led to his being appointed a few years afterwards perpetual chairman of the quarter sessions. Owing principally to his exertions, a gaol and penitentiary-house for Manchester, on improved principles, was erected in 1787. In his honour, not in allusion, as has been sometimes supposed, to the Old Bailey in London, it was named the New Bayley. The building was pulled down in 1873. So successful were the improvements introduced in its construction, and in that of the county gaol at Lancaster, that Bayley was consulted in regard to the erection and improvement of prisons throughout the kingdom. He also took an active interest in sanitary reform, and in schemes for improving the general condition of the poor. In 1796 he was successful in obtaining in Manchester the establishment of a board of health, of which he was chosen chairman. He was one of the founders of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester, and of a college of arts and sciences, which, however, was afterwards abandoned. Much of his spare time he devoted to agriculture, and to his farm of Hope near Manchester introduced various new agricultural methods, including an improved system of sod draining. In regard to this he wrote a pamphlet entitled ‘On a Cheap and Expeditious Method of Draining Land,’ which was published in Hunter's ‘Georgical Essays,’ vol. iv. (1772), and vol. i. (1803). He was also the author of ‘Observations on the General Highway and Turnpike Acts,’ 1773. He died at Buxton on 24 June 1802.

[Gent. Mag. lxxii. 777; Biographical Memoirs of Thomas Butterworth Bayley, Esq., by Thomas Percival, M.D., 1802, which is also included in the Collected Works of Percival (1807), ii. 289–305.]

T. F. H.