16 February 2014

Thomas Bailey in Basford, Nottingham

Thomas Bailey (1785–1856) was a journalist and poet and the father of the poet Philip James Bailey (1816–1902). He was born in Nottingham and was the owner and editor of the Nottingham Mercury, although in his article in the ODNB Thompson Cooper says that Bailey was 'too moderate for his readers', and that the paper suffered from declining circulation as a result and folded in 1852. Basford House in Church Street, Basford, Nottingham, dates from 1730 (or perhaps earlier) and was formerly named the Manor House. It was bought by Bailey in the 1830s, and he lived here until his death, 'writing and collecting books and engravings'.

Among Bailey's writings, Cooper lists A Sermon on the Death of Byron (1824), the four-volume Annals of Nottinghamshire (1852–5), Village Reform: the Great Social Necessity of Britain (1854), and Records of Longevity (1857).


 'THIS MEMORIAL WAS ERECTED BY
THOMAS BAILEY
THE HISTORIAN, IN THE GROUNDS
BELOW, (OPPOSITE THIS CEMETERY)
TO COMMEMORATE THE PASSING
OF THE REFORM ACT, A.D. 1852:
& WAS REMOVED HERE TO MARK
THE RESTING PLACE OF HIS MUCH
ESTEEMED & VALUED FRIEND.'

The old cemetery opposite the house. Writing in Old Nottingham Suburbs: Then and Now (1914) Robert Mellors states that Bailey also erected a column in the grounds of the house to commemorate the act, but that it was removed and re-erected in the old cemetery when the house was sold. Bailey's friend, anonymously mentioned above, was R. B. Spencer. The column is no longer there.

Many thanks, once more, to Dr Rowena Edlin-White for giving me directions to the memorial, and for drawing my attention to Mellors's article.

A link to my earlier post on Philip James Bailey is below.

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Philip James Bailey, Nottingham

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