Bailey, Kenneth Claude (1896–1951), chemist and university administrator, was born 9 May 1896, the son of C. W. Bailey. It is probable that Wellesley Cosby Bailey (qv) was a relative. Bailey was educated at St Andrew's College, Dublin, before attending Trinity College, Dublin, where he won the first junior exhibition scholarship, and studied classics. In 1915 he joined the royal army medical corps to serve in the Great War, and worked in a laboratory on the Salonica front; on his return to college in 1919 he studied natural science as well as classics, and graduated in 1921 with a double senior moderatorship and with two college gold medals. In 1922 he graduated MA and also received the degree of docteur de l'université de Toulouse. He was elected a member of the RIA (1925), and received the degrees of Sc.D. (1925) and Litt.D. (1929) from TCD. He won a fellowhip in Trinity in 1926, lectured in the chemistry department, and was professor of physical chemistry from 1935 to 1947. His main research was on the inhibition of chemical reactions and negative catalysts. His background in classical scholarship was of use in papers on the scientific work of the Roman author Pliny the elder. He edited a text of Pliny's on dyeing, and in 1929 he published an etymological dictionary of chemical and mineralogical terms. This was written jointly with his wife, Dorothy, daughter of F. B. Lavelle, senior inspector of national schools in Ireland; they had married in 1923.
Bailey was best known for his lifelong service to the administration of his university; he was junior dean from 1931 to 1942 and registrar from 1942 to 1950. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the provostship in 1942. In 1947 he wrote a sequel to the history of Trinity College written by Constantia Maxwell (qv), covering the fifty years up to 1945. As registrar, he worked closely with Ernest Alton (qv) on attempts by the college to seek state financial aid, and was regarded as a likely successor to the elderly Alton. However, in the summer of 1950 Bailey was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and he died, aged fifty-five, on 18 September 1951. He was survived by his wife and daughter.