Bayley, Cornelius

The evangelical incumbent of St. James's, Manchester, he was born at Ashe, near Whitchurch, Salop. He was educated and also taught at Whitchurch Grammar School and from 1773 to 1783 taught English at Kingswood School. He was ordained priest in 1781 and for a time served as John Fletcher's curate at Madeley. Later he preached in the Manchester Circuit, built a proprietary chapel, St James's, in Manchester, and exercised a highly popular evangelical ministry there. He was also active in the local Sunday School movement. Many Oldham Street Methodists were among his hearers, but after 1791 he was estranged by the itinerants' claims to ministerial status and opposed them in his Questions...on the Ministerial Office (1795). He published a Hebrew Grammar entitled An Entrance into the Sacred Tongue, (1782), for which he was awarded a DD by Aberdeen University. Adam Clarke warmly commended this, saying that without it he would never have turned his attention to Hebrew or written his Old Testament commentary. He was also awarded a Cambridge BD in 1792 and a DD in 1800. His other writings included a collection of metrical psalms taken from both Sternhold and Hopkins and Tate and Brady (1818), The Swedenborgian Doctrine of the Trinity Considered (1785) and notes on the Homilies (1811). He died in Manchester on 12 April 1812.

  • E.A. Rose in WHS Proceedings, 34 pp.153-58
  • Oxford 'DNB