Mary Barbara Bailey

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Sister Mary Barbara Bailey, C.R.L., (née Barbara Vernon Bailey), (28 June 1910 – 4 May 2003) was an English Roman Catholic canoness regular who illustrated the original Bunnykins tableware series which was manufactured by the Doulton & Co. factory. The manufacturing director of the factory was her own father, Cuthbert Bailey.[1]

Royal Doulton Bunnykins tableware backstamp

Early years[edit]

Born Barbara Vernon Bailey at Bulkeley Hall, Woore, Shropshire, she was the second daughter of Cuthbert and Constance Bailey. She made drawings of the surrounding countryside and livestock as well as her six siblings' pets.[2] Brought up in a privileged environment, she had a governess, and grew up in a stately home.[1]

As nun[edit]

In 1933 she became a Canoness Regular of the Lateran (who follow the Rule of St. Augustine) and took the name Sister Mary Barbara. She resided in an enclosed monastery in Sussex and taught French and history at the attached school.

Permission for the project of illustrating Bunnykins tableware for Royal Doulton was granted by the prioress on condition that there be no financial gain from the project for either Sister Mary Barbara or the priory.[3] Sister Barbara stopped illustrating and drawing when her teaching duties made her too busy. Other designers (including Hubert Light, Walter Hayward, Colin Twinn and Frank Endersby) took over the designing process.

Sister Mary Barbara died on 4 May 2003 at Haywards Heath, West Sussex, aged 92.


  1. ^ a b "Obit - Sister Mary Barbara Bailey". The Economist. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Obituaries - Barbara Bailey". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Run, rabbit, run: Barbara Vernon interview". The Independent. Retrieved 23 March 2015.