In 1611 , most probably, appeared the first edition of his Practice of Piety , a book of devotion that became exceedingly popular; the 11th ed. appeared in 1619 , the 71st in 1792 ; the 1st Welsh ed., translated by Rowland Vaughan of Caergai , came out in 1630 — Yr Ymarfer o Dduwioldeb — followed by five more editions (up to 1730 ). He rather belied the Practice of Piety as bishop by taking unto himself an inordinate number of livings ‘in commendam’ and by promoting both his son John and his son-in-law Dr. William Hill from one good benefice to another, and that within short periods of time.
At first he boldly challenged the power of Sir John Wynn of Gwydir , the most powerful layman in his diocese, especially over leases of Church lands, but soon found he had been too precipitate in his opposition, for Wynn 's hostility meant the disfavour of (the later) archbishop John Williams and the detective reports of Griffith Williams ( 1587? - 1673 ) , rector of Llanllechid , to whom the bishop sarcastically refers as ‘your honest parson Williams.’ Before long he adopted quite a different policy by becoming one of Sir John 's greatest friends, exerting all his influence to get the latter's son returned as M.P. for Caernarvonshire against his rival, the younger John Griffith of Cefn Amwlch , Llyn . The bishop had seriously underestimated the power of the Llyn faction, for they not only easily won the election of 1620 , but carried the war into Court circles and the debates of Parliament . In Parliament , too, the bishop was guilty of poor tactics and great inconsistency; though chaplain to James I , he spoke indiscreet words against Roman Catholics and the Spanish match, and for a short time actually found himself within the walls of the Fleet prison ; but having regained the King 's favour he became a target for Puritan attack in both Lords and Commons , charged with using unnecessarily strong words and promoting unworthy incumbents: however, all the attacks — whether in the Star Chamber , or the Court of Chancery , or in Parliament — passed away harmlessly because of the royal favour.
On the credit side are the Practice of Piety , his warm support for Dr. John Davies 's Dictionary , 1632 , his services as member of the Council of the Marches , the sums of money he spent upon the repair of Bangor cathedral , and his supervision of his diocese, as specified in the apologia to king Charles I subscribed 7 April 1630 , and as exemplified in his order, 1625 , to put an end to the violent quarrels over pew-seats that had disgraced church life at Llanfairfechan . He d. 26 Oct. 1631 . His second wife was Ann , daughter of Sir Henry Bagenal of Castle Newry in Ireland and Plas Newydd in Anglesey ; his grandson EDWARD BAYLY succeeded to the Plas Newydd estate; and his grandson HENRY BAYLY took the name and arms of Paget (as 9th baron ), and was the father of the 1st marquis of Anglesey .
Thomas Richards, D.Litt., (1878-1962), Bangor
Published date: 1959