Thomas Bailey (Controversialist)

Thomas Bailey or Bayly (d. c. 1657) was a seventeenth-century English religious controversialist, a Royalist Church of England clergyman who converted to Roman Catholicism.

Bailey's father was Lewis Bayly, Bishop of Bangor, and a brother was the scholar and clergyman John Bayly (1595/6–1633). Bailey was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He began as a priest within his father's diocese; in 1634 he became Rector of Holgate, Shropshire, and in 1638 the sub-dean of Wells. He served as a commissioned officer in defence of Raglan Castle in 1646, and was briefly imprisoned in Newgate gaol for writing against the Commonwealth after Charles I was executed in 1649. In that year he also defended Charles against allegations that he had been a Roman Catholic. However, Bailey then made his way to Europe, and had himself converted to Catholicism by the time of his 1654 End to Controversy. A Life of John Fisher was issued under Bailey's name in 1655, though it was in fact a re-publication of a much earlier text which Richard Hall (d. 1604) had translated into Latin.


  • The royal charter granted unto kings, by God himself, 1649
  • Certamen religiosum, 1649
  • An End to Controversy between the Roman Catholique and the Protestant Religions Justified, 1654


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