Nicholas Battely was born in Bury St. Edmunds, the son of Nicholas Battely, an apothecary. He attended the Bury Grammar School and was admitted a pensioner of Trinity College, Cambridge, on 30 March 1665. He was made a fellow of Peterhouse in 1670 and ordained priest at Ely Cathedral on 18 September 1675. He was Rector of Nowton in Suffolk 1680-85 and Rector of Creeting St. Olave in the same county in 1681. In 1685, he became Rector of Ivychurch in Kent and Vicar of Bekesbourne. He married Anne Pocklington, of Brington in Huntingdonshire. He was the father of Oliver Battely. Nicholas Battely died on 19 May 1704, shortly after the publication of his edition of Somner. He is buried in Bekesbourne church.
In 1703 Battely published a folio volume of the Antiquities of Canterbury. The work was illustrated. Battely also left in manuscript a history of Eastbridge Hospital;, after having been partially printed in John Strype's Life of Whitgift, it was published in John Nichols's Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, vol. i. (1780). Some notes by Battely on William Dugdale's Monasticon were used by John Lewis in his History of Faversham, 1727.
^‘Antiquities of Canterbury, or a Survey of that ancient City with its Suburbs, Cathedral, &c., sought out and published by the good will and industry of William Somner; the second edition revised and enlarged by Nicholas Batteley, M.A. Also Mr. Somner's discourse, called Chartham News, a relation of some strange bones found at Chartham in Kent; to which are added some observations concerning the Roman Antiquities of Canterbury, and a preface, giving an account of the works and remains of the learned antiquary, Mr. William Somner, by N. B. The second part is called Cantuaria Sacra, or the Antiquities (i.) of the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church; (ii.) of the Archbishopric; (iii.) of the late Priory of Christchurch and of the present Collegiate Church founded by King Henry VIII, with a catalogue of all the Deans and Canons thereof; (iv.) of the Archdeaconry of Canterbury; (v.) of the Monastery of St. Augustine and of the parish churches, hospitals, and other religious places, &c. &c., enquired into by N. B.’