Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bailey, Thomas
BAILEY, THOMAS (1785–1856), topographer and miscellaneous writer, was born at Nottingham 31 July 1785. His education was received partly in a day-school in his native town, and partly in a boarding-school at Gillingham, Yorkshire. Afterwards he was for some time engaged in business as a silk-hosier at Nottingham. A liberal in politics, though not a radical, he came forward unsuccessfully, in 1830, as a candidate for the representation of the borough. In 1836 he was elected to the town council, and he continued to be a member of that body for seven years. In 1845-6 he became proprietor and editor of the 'Nottingham Mercury,' but his opinions were too temperate to suit the taste of his readers. The circulation of the paper declined, and at last, in 1851, the mass of the subscribers withdrew in wrath, on account of the editor's views respecting the original error of the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, and his prophecies of its inevitable failure. In the following year the journal became extinct. Previously to this, in 1830, he had purchased a mansion at Basford, near Nottingham, where he spent the later years of his life, engaged in literary pursuits and in the formation of a choice collection of books and engravings. He died at Basford 23 Oct. 1856. His son, Mr. Philip James Bailey, is the well-known author of 'Festus,' and of other poems.
Thomas Bailey s works are: 1. 'What is Life? and other Poems,' Lond., 1820, 12mo. 2. 'The Carnival of Death,' a poem, Lond., 1822, 16mo. 3. 'A Sermon on the Death of Byron,' 1824. 4. 'Ireton,' a poem, Lond. 1827, 8vo. 5. 'Discourse on Political Revolutions,' 1830. 6. 'Recreations in Retirement,' a miscellany of poetry and prose, 1836. 7. 'The Rights of Labour,' a pamphlet, 1844. 8. 'The Advent of Charity and other Poems,' Lond. 1861, 16mo. 9. 'Annals of Nottinghamshire; a new and popular history of the county of Nottingham, including the borough,' 4 vols., Lond. 1852-55, 8vo, his most important publication. 10. 'Village Reform: the great social necessity of Britain.' being a letter to Lord Palmerston, Lond. 1854, 12mo. 11. 'Handbook to Nottingham Castle,' Lond. 1854, 8vo. 12. 'Handbook to Newstead Abbey,' Lond. 1855, 12mo. 13. 'Records of Longevity; with an introductory discourse on Vital Statistics,' Lond. 1857, 8vo.[Private information; Memoir by Mr. Philip James Bailey in Cornelius Brown's Lives of Nottinghamshire Worthies (1882), 341; Gent. Mag. cci. 776; Men of the Time, 11th edition, 61; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.]