Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Braidley, Benjamin

BRAIDLEY, BENJAMIN (1792–1845), writer on Sunday schools, the son of Benjamin Braidley, a farmer, was born at Sedgefield, Durham, on 19 Aug. 1792. He was apprenticed to a firm of linen importers in Manchester, and in 1813 first became an active worker in the Bennett Street Sunday schools. In 1815, 1,635 pupils received prizes for regular attendance, and in 1816, 2,020 scholars were on the rolls of the schools. In 1830 Braidley was constable, and in 1831 and 1832 boroughreeve of Manchester. He was also high constable of the hundred of Salford. In 1835 he was twice the unsuccessful candidate in the conservative interest for the parliamentary representation of Manchester. Braidley visited America in 1837, and his diary during his visit shows his great interest in education, the slavery question, and religion, as regarded from an evangelical standpoint. He was a commission agent, and became wealthy; but by the failure of the Northern and Central Bank he lost the greater part of his fortune. Braidley was the author of ‘Sunday School Memorials,’ Manchester, 1831, 12mo, which contains short biographies of persons connected with the Bennett Street Sunday schools. This work, some portions of which first appeared in the ‘Christian Guardian,’ has passed through four editions, the last of which, greatly enlarged, was published in 1880, under the title of ‘Bennett Street Memorials.’ Braidley also contributed to the ‘Shepherd's Voice,’ a religious magazine, and wrote several tracts in a local controversy as to the doctrines of the church of Rome. He died of apoplexy 3 April 1845. He was unmarried.

[Memoir of Benjamin Braidley, Esq. (by William Harper), 1845, 12mo, contains extracts from his diary; Bennett Street Memorials, 1880, containing a portrait of Braidley, with a memoir by the Rev. Henry Taylor.]

E. C. A. A.