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Bailey, Charles (1838 - 1924)


from Herbology, Manchester Museum Herbarium

Charles Bailey was a noted Manchester business man and amateur botanist, serving as secretary to the Botanical Exchange Club between 1879 and 1903 (Allen 1986). He assembled a fine and extensive herbarium which he donated to Manchester University in 1917.


1838 Coventry
1850 ?Warrington
1854 Manchester
1861 Census - 94 Dorset-street, Hulme
1871 Census - Dudley Bank, Moss Side, Manchester
1881 Census - Ashfield, Withington
1901 Census - Ashfield, College-road, Withington
1902 St Anne's, Lancs.
1911 Census - Haines Garth, Cleeve Hill, Cheltenham
1924 St Mary Church, Devon



Additional links

Annotated pedigrees of the Bailey and Eglington
Archived copy of Chris Liffin's 2011 biography as originally posted on the Meiosis web
Charles Bailey's herbarium specimens as catalogued by the Herbaria at Home
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1838 June 18 : Birth Most sources agree that Charles Bailey was born in Warwickshire in 1838, on June 14.
He was baptised at St John the Baptist, Coventry, on July 18 of this year.
1870 September 7 : Marriage 1870 September 8 - ¹Manchester Evening News
MARRIAGES, BAILEY – DEAN. – On the 7th inst., at the Chorlton-road Congregational Church, by the Rev. J. A. Macfayden, M.A., Mr. Charles Bailey, of Moss Side, to Hannah, second daughter of Mr John Dean, Whalley Range.
1882 February 17 : Lecture 1882 February 18 - ¹Blackburn Times
LECTURE ON "WEEDS" - Last evening, Mr. Charles Bailey, F.L.S., of Manchester, delivered a lecture on "Weeds" to the members of the Literary Club. He remarked that it was easier to recognise a "weed" than to define it in words, not only in English, but still more in foreign languages, scarcely one of these latter possessed the exact equivalent of all that was implied in our English word. The late Dr. Berthold Seeman considered that an important characteristic of a weed was an adaptability for rapid propagation, and he claimed that Jacob Grimne supported his etymology of the word, which came to us through the Low German verb "wüeo" (to weed" the Bavarian "wüteln," and the High German "wueberu" (to spread rapidly), all of which derivations were connected with Wodan or Wuotan (Odin), the name of the supreme, all overpowering, irresistible Saxon God whom Wednesday or Wodensday was dedicated. Some philologists traced it through the Dutch "wieden" (to cleanse as from noxious herbs), and so considered a weed as something hurtful; but there were hundreds of "weeds" which could not be thus described. Most definitions the word were somewhat vague and elastic, expressing too much or too little, but for present purposes weeds would considered to be self-sown plants growing on cultivated land, such as a poppy in a corn field, chickweed in a flower border, or a sagina on a garden walk. Thus viewed, weeds would appear one of the results of civilisation, and evidently suggested human companionship. There was a Ruth-like association about them, for wherever man went they would go; his country should be their country; where he died they will cover his grave and mingle their ashes with his own. The revolutions in our natural history were in many instances written upon the face the country in its vegetation. The fluctuatios which took place in the population of towns and countries were analogous with the changes which took place in vegetable communities. The struggle for daily bread incident to human life was inherent to the world of plants. Just as there were birds and beasts which attached themselves to man and never flourished away front human habitations, so there were plants which invariably accompanied man in his migrations. Proceeding, the lecturer spoke of the naturalisation of weeds, and entered into details of extreme interest naturalists. The power of propagation of some weeds, he said, was marvellous. If we look weed which produced one flower, and each flower fifty seeds, and supposing that one hundred such plants would grow on square yard, one single acre would produce 605 million of seeds. Give those seeds unlimited power of propagation, and it would not take many generations to cover the whole earth with the product of asingle plant. This power was held in check by the nature of the soil, temperature, light, solar radiation, &c. Insect agency was an important factor in the propogation of weeds; and human agency in draining, ploughing, removing timber, and so forth, in many instances led to the disappearance of species.
1887 July 9 : Botanical Conference 1887 July 11 - ¹Manchester Courier
On Saturday afternoon a botanical conference was held in the Armoury, at Hyde. Representatives from Linnaean Botanical Societies at Ashton, Stalybridge, Hyde, Oldham, Gorton, Mossley, Lees, Hollinwood, Stayley, Crompton, Droylsdon, Audenshaw, Bardsley, Greenfield, and other places were present. Mr. Ledger, President of the Ashton-under-Lyne Botanical Society, in introducing Mr. A Houghton (Hyde), the chairman of the conference, said the society under whose auspices the conference was held had been existence for the last 40 years, and until recently its annual meetings were held under the auspices of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, and Derbyshire. — Mr. J. H. Stopford, secretary, read the report of Mr. Charles Bailey, Whalley Range, Manchester, the examinations which had taken place on the 19th June. Afterwards plants. &c. were named by Messrs. Hannan, J. Leigh, E. Ledger, B. Abbott, J. Ward, H. Searle, and J. Beaumont. A very interesting and enjoyable meeting closed with the usual votes thanks.
1917 : Herbarium 1917 April 7 - ¹Gloucester Journal
Mr. Charles Bailey, M.Sc.. F.L.S., of Haymesgarth, Cleeve Hill, has presented to the University of Manchester his magnificent herbarium of British and foreign plants. The " Manchester Guardian," in announcing the fact, observes that it is "appropriate that the vast collection which has been brought together by the enterprise and assiduity of a Manchester business man should permanently enrich the city of which he was prominent and active citizen; and this last generous gift to the University is a fitting climax to a lifetime in which he devoted so much thought and all his wonderful methodical energy to the building of what is present undoubtedly the finest private herbarium in Britain. The comprehensiveness his collection may gathered from the fact that the British collection contains no less than 87.000 separate sheets of mounted plants, while the European portion amounts to 295,000 sheets." Mr. Bailey has made generous provision for the cost of transference of his herbarium to Manchester, and also towards the expense of completing the mounting of the specimens.
1924 September 14 : Death A substantial Obituary by G. Claridge Druce was printed in the Botanical Society and Exchange Club's report for 1924.
[Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland]

1 Transcription reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive

Managed by Richard Middleton : last updated 6 January 2018