William Bayliss

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John William Maddock Bayliss
William Bayliss 1918b.jpg
William Bayliss in 1918
Born 2 May 1860
Wednesbury, Staffordshire, England
Died 27 August 1924(1924-08-27) (aged 64)
London, England
Nationality England
Alma mater University College London
Oxford University
Known for Secretin
Awards Royal Medal, 1911
Copley Medal, 1919
Scientific career
Fields Physiology
Institutions University College London
William Bayliss in 1878, aged only 18

Sir William Maddock Bayliss (2 May 1860 – 27 August 1924) was an English physiologist.[1]


He was born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire and gained a B.Sc from London University. He graduated MA and DSc in physiology from Wadham College, Oxford.

Bayliss and Ernest Henry Starling discovered the peptide hormone secretin and peristalsis of the intestines. The Bayliss Effect is named after him. He was also involved in the Brown Dog affair, successfully suing Stephen Coleridge for libel over accusations he made about Bayliss's vivisection work.

In 1893 Bayliss married Gertrude Ellen Starling, the sister of fellow physiologist Ernest Starling.

Honours and awards[edit]

Bayliss was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in June 1903.[2] He jointly delivered their Croonian lecture in 1904 and was awarded their Royal Medal in 1911 and their Copley Medal in 1919.

He was knighted for his contribution to medicine in 1922.


Bayliss died in London in 1924.

The Bayliss and Starling Society was founded in 1979 as a forum for scientists with research interests in central and autonomic peptide function.


In addition to his original scientific research he also published an influential textbook of physiology, Principles of General Physiology, first published in 1915,[3] continuing through to a 4th edition in 1924.


His son, Dr Leonard Ernest Bayliss FRSE (1901-1964) was also a physiologist.[4] who continued the family tradition of writing physiology textbooks.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bayliss, William Maddock". Who's Who. Vol. 59. 1907. p. 114. 
  2. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 15 March 2018. 
  3. ^ Bayliss, W.M. (1915). Principles of General Physiology (1st ed.). London: Longman's, Green, and Co. p. 850. 
  4. ^ http://www.royalsoced.org.uk/cms/files/fellows/biographical_index/fells_indexp1.pdf
  5. ^ Winton, Frank Robert; Bayliss, Leonard Ernest (1930). Human physiology. London: J. & A. Churchill. p. 583. 


  • Zárate, Arturo; Saucedo, Renata (2005), "[On the centennial of hormones. A tribute to Ernest H. Starling and William M. Bayliss]", Gaceta médica de México, 141 (5), pp. 437–9, PMID 16353891 
  • Hirst, Barry H (2004), "Secretin and the exposition of hormonal control", J. Physiol. (published 15 October 2004), 560 (Pt 2), p. 339, doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2004.073056, PMC 1665254Freely accessible, PMID 15308687 
  • Modlin, I M; Kidd, M (2001), "Ernest Starling and the discovery of secretin", J. Clin. Gastroenterol. (published Mar 2001), 32 (3), pp. 187–92, doi:10.1097/00004836-200103000-00001, PMID 11246341 
  • Modlin, I M; Kidd, M; Farhadi, J (2000), "Bayliss and Starling and the nascence of endocrinology", Regul. Pept. (published 25 September 2000), 93 (1–3), pp. 109–23, doi:10.1016/S0167-0115(00)00182-8, PMID 11033058 
  • Svatos, J; Svatos, A (1999), "The divergence in the conception of Pavlov and Bayliss-Starling concerning the function of the nervous system", Ceskoslovenská fysiologie / Ústrední ústav biologický (published Feb 1999), 48 (1), pp. 22–6, PMID 10377602 
  • Folkow, B (1989), "Myogenic mechanisms in the control of systemic resistance. Introduction and historical background", Journal of hypertension. Supplement : official journal of the International Society of Hypertension (published September 1989), 7 (4), pp. S1–4, PMID 2681587 
  • Simmer, H H (1978), "[The discovery and the discoverers of secretin. A contribution to the history of science and to the typology of the scientist]", Die Medizinische Welt (published 15 December 1978), 29 (50), pp. 1991–6, PMID 364247 
  • Hill, A V (1969), "Bayliss and Starling and the happy fellowship of physiologists", J. Physiol. (published September 1969), 204 (1), pp. 1–13, doi:10.1113/jphysiol.1969.sp008894, PMC 1351589Freely accessible, PMID 4900770 
  • Bayliss, L E (1961), "William Maddock BAYLISS, 1860–1924: life and scientific work", Perspect. Biol. Med., 4, pp. 460–79, doi:10.1353/pbm.1961.0025, PMID 13688118 

External links[edit]