Thomas Bailey.
Thomas Bailey.

THOMAS BAILEY, who lived many years in the large brick house near to Basford Church, "commenced at a very early period of his youth," says Mr. C. Brown in his "Worthies," "a discipline of early self-education, studied the characters of benefactors to society, and generally improved his mind. He became an eloquent public speaker, was elected to the Town Council in 1836, became the proprietor of the Nottingham "Mercury." He devoted much time during 20 years to the improvement of the roads in Basford, was chairman of the Board of Guardians, 1855-7, and formed a village library. He compiled that valuable work, "The Annals of Notts." in four volumes, to which he devoted much time and care; wrote "What is Life?", and many other treatises. He died in 1856, aged 71, "relying wholly and humbly upon the mercies of One he knew to be his Saviour." His grave is in the old cemetery.

Here is a quotation from "The Carnival of Death":— "Oh ! hail Millennial days! hail days of Peace! When wars shall end, and Discord's voice shall cease; When Zion's King shall hear His glorious name Resound through earth, with one vast, loud acclaim— And morn's first beam, and eve's last lingering ray Bear witness still to our Messiah's sway."

P.J. Bailey.
P.J. Bailey.

PHILIP JAMES BAILEY was the son of Thomas Bailey, and was born in 1816, in a house at the eastern end of Middle Pavement, now pulled down, but a picture of it may be seen at the Mechanics' Institution. His father being a man of culture, and well acquainted with literature, was very helpful to the son, who heartily responded to the affectionate regard, as is shown by the dedication of his first book:—

"My Father! unto thee to whom I owe All that
I am, all that I have and can;
Who madest me in thyself the sum of man
In all his generous aims and powers to know:
These first-fruits bring I."

He had the best tuition that Nottingham then afforded, and at sixteen was sent to Glasgow University. In 1835 he became a member of "The Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn," and five years later was called to the bar, but never practised. His father had removed from Radford to Basford to the large house and garden north of the Church; and in 1836 "Festus" began to take definite shape in the poet's mind, and in the house and garden named was matured. It was published at first anonymously, but the dedication above referred to is dated by him "Old Basford, near Nottingham, 1839." From the first it was warmly eulogized by men like Bulwer, Thackeray and Tennyson, and rapidly passed through eleven editions in England, and more than thirty in America.

The "Festus" of that day was not more than half the size of "Festus" as it now is. For 50 years he continued compressing and expanding it.

The object of the book is to endeavour to show the ultimate triumph of good over evil—the salvation of all "accompanied by repentance on the one hand, and by remedial punishment on the other." Whatever may be thought of the theology, the true poetry, the lofty thoughts, the devout adoration, the insight into the unseen, commands the admiration of all who rise above the material.

Several extracts are appended. He died 1902.

"The day has gone to God, Straight,
like an infant's spirit, or a mocked And
mourning messenger of grace to man."

"Who rightly choose, and bravely war, make heaven."

"The rainbow dies in heaven, and not on earth;
But love can never die; from world to world
Up the high wheel of Heaven it lives for aye."

"We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; In
feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time
by heart throbs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the
noblest, acts the best."

"Nothing will stand whose staple is not Love—
The love of God, or man, or lovely woman;
The first is scarcely touched; the next scarce felt;
The third is desecrated; lift it up,
Redeem it, hallow it; blend the three in one
Great holy work."