MD Edin 1823; FRCP Lond 1859.
Bardsley was born in Nottingham on 7 July 1801, the nephew of Samuel Argent Bardsley. Bardsley was educated at Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Bartholomew's Hospital London and spent a year studying in Paris. After graduating in 1823, Bardsley was appointed honorary physician at MRI, in the post rendered vacant by uncle. He was the youngest man ever appointed on the honorary staff of MRI. From 1825 to 1843 he was also lecturing on physic, materia medica, and medical botany at Manchester Royal School of Medicine. In 1831, Barclay married Elizabeth Shuttleworth and the same year was elected as FRCP. Bardsley resigned from his position at MRI in 1843 and was appointed consulting physician. Bardsley was knighted in 1853 and died in Greenheys on 10 July 1876.
Bardsley was involved in the formation of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association in 1832. He was president of Manchester Medical Society from 1838 to 1843 (2nd president) and from 1845 to 1847. He was also president of Manchester Medico-Ethical Association in 1850 and Justice of Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for Lancashire.