Edward Hodson Bayley

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Edward Hodson Bayley (1841 – 7 March 1938) was a British businessman and Liberal Party politician.[1]

Born in Accrington, Lancashire, he was the second son of the Reverend Dr Johnathon Bayley, a pastor with the Swedenborgian New Church and his wife Lydia née Hodson.[2] Educated in England, France and Germany, he moved to the south east suburbs of London and established E H Bayley & Co., waggon builders, at Newington Causeway.[1] In 1892 he was described as a "wheelwright and fire escape manufacturer".[3] He was also the chairman of three other transport-related businesses: the West Metropolitan Tramways Company, the London Improved Cab Company and of the United Horseshoe and Nail Company. He also sat on the London board of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States. His first wife was an American woman, Josephine Simon.[1] After her death in 1881, Bayley founded the New Church Orphanage in her memory.[2]

Bayley was active in the Liberal Party, and in 1886 was chosen to contest the Camberwell North constituency, defending the seat of the retiring member of parliament, Richard Strong.[1][4] He described himself as a "thorough Home Ruler" and a supporter of William Gladstone.[4] Bayley had two opponents: John Richards Kelly of the Conservative Party and William Pirie Duff, described as a "Dissentient Liberal".[5] Bayley was defeated, with Kelly gaining the seat with a majority of 365 votes.[6]

Despite his defeat, Bayley was unanimously readopted as prospective parliamentary candidate by the North Camberwell Liberal and Radical Association in March 1887.[7] The next general election was held in 1892, and he faced a straight fight against the incumbent, Kelly.[8] A major issue in the election was the proposed extension of tramways over Westminster Bridge: Bayley was strongly in favour of bringing the tramlines into south London, but Kelly was opposed.[3] Bayley easily won the seat, with a majority of 845 votes over Kelly.[9] In the following year Bayley was involved in a curious court case, having refused to pay the painter of his official portrait in House of Commons. Bayley claimed that it was a poor likeness, and "only like him in the tie", while his wife objected to it as it did not make him look "intellectual" enough. The court found against Bayley.[10]

In June 1895 the Liberal government led by Lord Rosebery lost a vote of confidence. A general election was duly called, and Bayley defended his seat against a new Conservative candidate, Major Philip Dalbiac.[11] A third candidate, Nelson Palmer, subsequently entered the contest, claiming to be "independent of party", but representing the labouring classes. The Conservatives secured a large majority at the election, and Bayley was one of many Liberal MPs to lose their seats. Dalbiac secured a majority of 693 votes over Bayley. Palmer's intervention had no effect, as he received only 32 votes.[12]

Bayley continued to hold directorships in various transport businesses, although the United Horseshoe and Nail Company was wound up in 1909.[13] He was chairman of the London Road Car Company and was a director of the Premier Omnibus Company.[14]

He died at Peacehaven, Sussex in March 1938 aged 96, and was buried in Highgate Cemetery.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d "The General Election. Biographies Of Candidates". The Times. UK. 1 July 1892. p. 3. 
  2. ^ a b Speirs, James (1888). The Divine Word Opened: Sermons by the Rev. Johnathon Bayley A.M. PhD (2 ed.). London: Missionary and Tract Society of the New Church. 
  3. ^ a b "Mr Bayley at North Camberwell". Pall Mall Gazette. 30 June 1892. 
  4. ^ a b "The General Election". The Daily News. London. 21 June 1886. 
  5. ^ "The Metropolitan Constituencies". The Daily News. London. 1 July 1886. 
  6. ^ "Polls Declared Yesterday". The Daily News. London. 8 July 1886. 
  7. ^ "Political Meetings". The Daily News. London. 18 March 1887. 
  8. ^ "Election Notice". The Times. UK. 2 July 1892. p. 16. 
  9. ^ "The General Election. Further Great Gains in London.". The Daily News. London. 8 July 1892. 
  10. ^ "An "Intellectual" M.P.". Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle. 22 December 1894. 
  11. ^ "The General Election. Metropolitan Constituencies.". Morning Post. London. 6 July 1895. p. 4. 
  12. ^ "The Election Campaign. Metropolitan Pollings. Increased Unionist Gains.". Morning Post. London. 18 July 1895. p. 2. 
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28275. p. 5844. 30 July 1909.
  14. ^ "The Premier Omnibus Company, Limited". The Times. UK. 1 February 1912. p. 16. 
  15. ^ "Deaths". The Times. UK. 9 March 1938. p. 1. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Richards Kelly
Member of Parliament for Camberwell North
Succeeded by
Philip Hugh Dalbiac