Tables for the Purchasing of Leases


TABLE VI. For the Purchasing of Leases or Estates held on a SINGLE LIFE.

(Baily, 1802, p.116)

Table I. For the Purchasing of Leases for terms of Years Certain.

(Baily, 1802, p.106)

Baily can therefore be seen, along with most of the executive members of the Astronomical Society, as part of a growing section of professionally oriented people such as bankers, insurance men, merchants, lawyers and accountants. This group of men typically founded societies and were interested in projecting a cultured philosophical image. Accordingly, the business astronomers set out to develop a trustworthy approach to the accumulation of intellectual and financial capital, through the establishment of a firm calculating base in which data were constantly monitored and reduced.

(Ashworth, 1994)

The flow of capital could not be monitored if it was not observed and correctly accounted through a uniform procedure, and the aftermath of the long Napoleonic war with France made conditions highly volatile. Many believed that much of the wealth generated during this period was speculative and fictitious. Within this context the business astronomers set about putting speculation on the same footing as astronomy.

(Ashworth, 1994)

Ashworth, W. J. (1994) ‘The calculating eye: Baily, Herschel, Babbage and the business of astronomy’, The British Journal for the History of Science, 27(04), pp. 409–441. [link]

Baily, F. (1802) Tables for the purchasing and renewing of leases. [link]