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Cornelius Bayley (1751-1812)

Cornelius Bayley was born at Ashe near Whitchurch in Shropshire. His father was a leather breeches maker who appears to have moved to Manchester while Bayley was very young. Cornelius was educated at Whitchurch Grammar School and subsequently worked there as a master. He is referred to in Venn's Alumni Cantabrigienses and the Dictionary of National Biography as being a Methodist preacher, but he is not recorded in the printed lists of early itinerants.

Bayley was ordained deacon in the Church of England in 1780. He moved to Manchester and was the first incumbent of the 'proprietary church' of St James, which he built in 1787. The degree of B.D. was conferred on him by Cambridge in 1792, and that of D.D. in 1800.

Bayley published an Hebrew grammar in 1792 and a preface to an edition of the 'Homilies' of the Church, published at Manchester in 1811. His other writings include sermons and pamphlets.

Bayley's wife Rachel was a close friend of Mary Bosanquet-Fletcher. After her husband's death, she was involved in controversies regarding ministerial oversight of Manchester St James.

Source: Fletcher-Tooth collection (MARC), Alumni Cantabrigienses compiled by J. A. Venn (1940) and Dictionary of National Biography

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