The son of a Norfolk Clergyman, John Whalley (or Whaley) was born at Barnwell, Cambridgeshire and attended Pembroke College Cambridge (B.A. 1720, M.A. 1723, B.D. 1732, D.D. from Peterhouse, 1737). He was ordained in 1725 and was Rector of Hungry Hatley, Cambridgeshire (1728), Vicar of Shepreth (1730), Vicar of Hatley St. George (1731-32), Vicar of Tilney, Norfolk (1732-48), Rector of Glaston, Rutland (1734) and Rector of Somersham, Huntingtonshire (1742-48). Whalley was a Fellow of Pembroke (1721), Master of Peterhouse (1733-48), Vice-Chancellor (1738-39), and Regius Professor of Divinity (1742-48). He did not get along well with Thomas Gray.
A sermon preached before the House of Commons. 1740.