Lewis Bayly – (1565-1631), Puritan author
A native of Carmarthen, Wales, Lewis Bayley was born in 1565. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, he received several church preferments in England and Wales before becoming Treasurer of Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London and Chaplain to King James the First. In 1616 Bayley was appointed Bishop of Bangor, remaining there until his death in 1631. His episcopate was marred by his inept handling of Church and State politics, which led to a brief spell in Fleet Prison in 1621. Bayley’s devotional manual, The Practice of Piety, appeared in 1611 and is said to have been based on a series of sermons that he had given while Vicar of Evesham. By 1842 it had gone through eighty English editions and had been translated into several other languages. The Welsh version was published in 1630 and reprinted five times in a hundred years. Among those who were strongly influenced by Bayley’s book were the English Baptist pastor and writer John Bunyan and Howell Harris, a leader in the Welsh revival of the 18th century.