Born at Southport, Lancashire, Hayward studied architecture at South Kensington but gave it up for painting, and subsequently studied at the Warrington School of Art and under Stanhope Forbes at Newlyn. During WWI he served with Royal Field Artillery, and returned to Newlyn, being addressed as Captain Hayward.
After working at Newlyn and Paul, he moved to St Ives, and established a St Ives School of Painting (c1924) of which he was the named Principal.
He continued to play a part in St Ives and Newlyn's artistic life through the formation of an exhibiting set calling themselves the Cornwall Group. Harold and Gertrude Harvey, Ernest and Dod PROCTER, Hugh Gresty, Alison Rose and Midge Bruford were those who banded together for some years.