Male portrait placeholder image

Name: William Bailey

Burial Number: 1415

Gender: Male

Occupation: Italian Freedom Fighter; Accountant; Journalist; Medicine Importer; Post Master

Distinction: Italian Freedom Fighter

Born: 12/02/1842

Died: 14/09/1929

Buried: 17/09/1929


William was born in Holborn, the son of William and Sarah. He was baptised at Great Queen Street Chapel, Camden on 31st March 1850. His mother married James Hardiman in 1847 after her husband’s death. In 1860, William was in Italy fighting for Garibaldi. Two years later, he was in Australia working in Rockhampton.
William married Eliza Whiffen in Queensland, Australia, in January 1866 and they had 7 children, some of whom stayed in Australia.

From the Brisbane Courier:”

In the death of Mr. William Henry Leighton Bailey, which occurred in England on September 14, at the age of 88 years, a prominent figure in early
Australian journalistic circles has been removed. Born in England, the late Mr. Bailey migrated to Australia, where he took up journalism. He became connected with the Press in
Rockhampton, and later, on the outbreak of the Palmer field, he went to Cooktown, where he established the “Herald.” This he disposed of in 1878, and went to Sydney. On the discovery of the Temora goldfield (New South Wales) he started a newspaper there, and later he established the “Sunday Times,” the first Sunday paper in Sydney.

After some time he returned to England, but he continued to take a close interest in Australian affairs, and while there he wrote much prose and verse. The late Mr. Bailey was in constant touch with friends in Australia, and notably with Mr. William Lees, in Brisbane. In his publication, “A Journalist’s Memories,” General Spencer Browne refers to the late Mr. Bailey as follows:— “I had gone on to Cooktown to do literary work for Mr. William Leighton Bailey, the proprietor and editor of the ‘Herald.’ It feels now rather a complimentary circumstance that, after a week or two, the editorial work really, if not nominally, came to me. Mr. Bailey was a remarkable man. If one may imagine a tropical Bond Street, it would be said that every day he was tailored there. His dress was immaculate; his home— and a generously hospitable home it was— had every refinement. He was a reader, scholarly, and with a wide knowledge of art.

In music he excelled. His was one of the most wonderful tenor voices I have heard— and I have heard many, and it seemed remarkable that he should have missed an operatic career. W. H. L. Bailey, minus his eyeglass, would have been as great a shock as if he appeared in a bathing suit. He knew everyone, everyone knew him, and yet he was usually reserved. In many respects he was exotic. There were many splendid men, educated, and of good breeding, in Cooktown and thereabouts, but the editor-proprietor of the leading paper had naturally, and above them all, the grand manner. Not so long ago, when I was president of the Queensland Institute of Journalists, the president of the New South Wales Institute visited Queensland— his native State.

He also was a Leighton Bailey, a son of my old chief at Cooktown. We entertained him here, and there seemed to be a transposition of periods. When Bailey of the Sydney “Evening News” spoke, I could close my eyes, and hear his father speaking over the wide sea of years, laying down some important point in the amenities of journalism. Another newspaper chap and I bought the ‘ Herald ‘ and its business, but the bad times came, and I’m afraid that the deal was not a satisfactory one for the vendor. Bailey, sen., had a big family, but his son in Sydney is the only one I have seen since the Cooktown days.”

Eliza died in May 1906 and was buried in Acton cemetery. On 8th September the same year, William married Jessie Mary McManus at St Dunstan in the West church, London. Jessie was a GPO clerk. Their son John Max was born in 1908. The family lived in Mill Hill and William ran a company importing medicines. By 1914, they were in Worthing, living in Highdown Avenue where Jessie was the postmistress. John was sent to Steyne School in Worthing. In 1922, they were living at 18 Heene Road before moving to 3 Peak Villas in Ivy Place. William died on 14th September 1929 at 74 Ripley Road, Worthing. No probate. Jessie moved to Hendon but returned to Worthing. She died in 1944.

Researcher: Liz Lane

The Grave

No headstone image available

Location in Cemetery

Area: EB Row: 4 Plot: 19

Exact Location (what3words): grapes.reef.person

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



None Found - Listed in Heene Cemetery Index of Graves


None Found - Listed in Heene Cemetery Index of Graves

Further Information


Name: William Henry Leighton Bailey

Gender: Male

Born: 12/02/1842

Town: Holborn

County: London

Country: England


Maiden Name: Not applicable

Marriage Date: /1/1866

Spouse First Name: Eliza

Spouse Last Name: Whiffen

Town of Marriage: Rockhampton

County of Marriage: Queensland

Country of Marriage: Australia

Marriage Date: 8/9/1906

Spouse First Name: Jessie

Spouse Second Name: Mary

Spouse Last Name: McManus

Town of Marriage: Unknown

County of Marriage: City of London

Country of Marriage: England

Information at Death

Date of Death: 14/09/1929

Cause of death: Unknown

Address line 1: 74

Address line 3: Ripley Road

Town: Worthing

County: Sussex

Country: England


No obituary has been entered.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: No value recorded

Current value of effects: Not calculated

Census Information


St Andrew, Holborn, London

James aged 27, carpet warehouseman. Sarah aged 31. James aged 1. William henry aged 9. Ann Elizabeth aged 7. Phoebe Hardiman aged 17, visitor.


22 Palace Street, Westminster.

James aged 37, carpet warehouseman. Sarah aged 42, upholsteress. William aged 19, auctioneer’s clerk. Ann aged 17. Sarah aged 9.


In Australia


In Australia


In Australia


In Australia


13 Victoria Road, Mill Hill, London.

William aged 69, patent medicine manager. Jessie Mary aged 38. John Max aged 2.

Miscellaneous Information