Record

Authorised form of nameBaily; Francis (1774 - 1844); astronomer
Dates1774 - 1844
NationalityBritish
Place of birthNewbury, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Date of birth28 April 1774
Place of deathLondon, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Date of death30 August 1844
Dates and placesBurial:
St Mary's Church, Thatcham, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom, Europe
OccupationStockbroker; Astronomer
Research fieldastronomy; metrology
ActivityEducation:
Grammar School, Newbury
Career:
Apprenticeship (1788-1795) at a mercantile house based in City of London; travelled to North America (1796); became an active stockbroker (c.1798) and published multiple works on life-contingencies; gave up working in the stock market and became a full-time astronomer (1825); contributed and edited catalogues, including Joseph de Lalande's (FRS 1763) and Nicolas de Lacaille's (FRS 1760) star catalogues, and compiled the British Association's 'Catalogue of 8377 stars' (1845)
Memberships:
Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (founding member; later president); Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election22/02/1821
Age at election46
Royal Society activityRoyal Society roles:
Sworn into Council 1 December 1832 ; Treasurer 1835-1838; VP 1832-1834, 1835-1840, 1842-1843
Committee and panels:
Catalogue Committee (appointed 9 February 1832) ; Telescope Committee (appointed 8th December 1831) ; Meteorological Committee (appointed 22 December 1831) ; Medal Committee (appointed 9 December 1830) ; Excise Committee ; Report of the Hydrometer Committee ; Committee of Mathematics (31 May 1837) ; Committee of Physics (31 May 1837) ; Committee of Astronomy (31 May 1837)
RelationshipsParents: Richard Baily (1744-1814); Sarah Head (1745-1823)
Siblings: Elizabeth Baily
Published worksRCN: 26082
RCN: 28381
RCN: 26078
RCN: 26084
General contextBaily's journey to North America stemmed from both commerical and personal interest - he wanted to expand the international interests of the mercantile house in London that he had worked at, and in addition he shared republican views and wanted to initiate the process to obtain American citizenship. This, however, failed. Baily documented his travels in journals which were posthumously published under the title 'Journal of a Tour in Unsettled Parts of North America in 1796 and 1797', edited by Professor De Morgan. In these journals he expresses his views on the value of education and his opposition to slavery. After returning to the UK in early 1798, he volunteered to travel for the African Association [Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa] for an expedition of Niger. However, the funds for this trip could not be raised so he remained in England.
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Image

Baily F, IM000187.jpg

SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; ODNB
Obituaries:
Proc Roy Soc 1844 No 60 pp 524-525
References:
Craik, A D D. 2002. 'James Ivory's last papers on the 'Figure of the Earth' (with biographical additions)' in Notes and Records, vol. 56, pp. 187-204
Rothman, P. 2000. 'By 'the light of his own mind': the story of James Ferguson, astronomer', in Notes and Records, vol. 54, pp 33-45
Virtual International Authority Filehttp://viaf.org/viaf/37072338
Royal Society codeNA6486
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
MC/3Volume 3 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1839-1843
MC/2Volume 2 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1832-1838
EC/1820/23Baily, Francis: certificate of election to the Royal Society
MC/4Volume 4 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1844-1850
MM/9/43Letter from Francis Baily, 37 Tavistock Place, to Edward Cooper16 September 1835
DM/4/102Copy of a letter from Davies Gilbert, President, Royal Society, to Francis Baily1830
MM/12/35Letter from Francis Baily to P M Roget6 December 1837
AP/8/3Unpublished paper, 'On a new method of calculating the value of life-annuities' by Francis Baily14 May 1812
DM/1/19Letter from Francis Baily, 37 Tavistock Square, to James Hudson, Assistant Secretary, Royal Society9 March 1831
DM/3/143Summation of a report of the Pendulum Committee 11 June 1829
DM/4/101Letter from Francis Baily to Davies Gilbert, President, Royal Society5 November 1830
DM/4/96Letter from Charles Rumker to Davies Gilbert, President, Royal Society25 June 1830
DM/2/39Report of the Lottery Office Committee21 March 1828
AP/23/24Description of a Calculating Machine, invented by Mr Thomas Fowler of Torrington in DevonshireJune 1840
CMB/42/2/7Minutes, meeting of the Royal Medal Committee25 November 1834
CMB/42/2/1Minutes from the Medal Committee10 December 1832
IM/000187Baily, Francisnd
MS/123/2Letter from the Duke of Sussex to John George Children, British Museum, London30 October 1832
MC/1Volume 1 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1800-1831
RR/1/56Referee's report by Francis Baily and Richard Sheepshanks, on a unnamed paper by Demouville25 July 1833
RR/1/252Referee's report by Francis Baily, on two papers 'On the span of exchange' and 'On the English standards' by Trevor11 January 1833
RR/1/28Referee's report by Francis Baily, on a paper 'Proposal for a new method of determining the longitude, by an absolute altitude of the moon' by John Christian Bowring31 March 1838
RR/1/74Referee's report by Francis Baily, on a paper 'Experiments on the vibration of the pendulum' by William James Frodsham9 July 1838
PT/23/7Paper, 'Contributions to the chemical history of archil [orchil] and litmus' by Robert Kane21 April 1840
MS/426/215Copy letter from [Charles Richard Weld, the Assistant Secretary of] the Royal Society; to Miss Baily21 July 1846
PT/5/13Paper, 'On the solar eclipse which is said to have been predicted by Thales' by Francis BailyNovember 1810
PT/20/8Paper, 'On the correction of a pendulum for the reduction to a vacuum: together with remarks on some anomalies observed in pendulum experiments' by F [Francis] Baily[1832]
CMP/1/2Minutes of a meeting of Council of the Royal Society13 December 1832
DM/2/34'Memorandum about rooms being set aside by the Royal Society for the use of the Royal Astronomical Society'20 September 1834
CMB/42/2/4Minutes, meeting of the Royal Medal Committee in Astronomy13 April 1833
NLB/15/177Copy letter from Robert William Frederick Harrison, to the Government Astronomer, the Observatory, Madras 8 July 1897
RR/1/8Referee's report by Francis Baily and Richard Sheepshanks, on a paper 'An account of the construction of a fluid lens refracting telescope of eight inches aperture, and eight feet and three quarters length, made for the Royal Society by George Dollond, Esq. F. R. S' by Peter Barlow 29 January 1833
CMP/1/1Minutes of a meeting of Council of the Royal Society1 December 1832
MM/12/24Letter from J G Children, British Museum, to Francis Baily18 July 1836
MC/1/39Letter from Francis Baily, Grays Inn, to the Royal Society 28 March 1811
PT/5/13/1Manuscript, 'On the solar eclipse which is said to have been predicted by Thales' by Francis BailyNovember 1810
PT/5/13/2Plate, 'The path of the moon's umbra in the eclipse which happened September 30 610 BC' by unknown artist1810
MC/1/139Letter from Rev. George Fisher, Stansted Vicarage, Essex, to Captain Edward Sabine20 February 1826
MC/1/155Letter from [George Biddell] Airy, Trinity College Cambridge, to Francis Baily, 37 Tavistock Place22 January 1828
PT/20/8/2Plate, brass tube and iron frame on vacuum apparatus by unknown artist[1832]
PT/20/8/1Manuscript, 'On the correction of a pendulum for the reduction to a vacuum: together with remarks on some anomalies observed in pendulum experiments' by F [Francis] Baily[1832]
PT/20/8/3Plate, knife edges of convertible pendulum by unknown artist[1832]
PT/20/8/4Plate, brass or steel rod with sphere at end by unknown artist[1832]
PT/20/8/5Plate, brass or steel rod with sphere at centre of oscillation by unknown artist[1832]
MC/1/285Letter from Francis Baily, 37 Tavistock Place, to Davies Gilbert25 February 1831
PT/26/15Paper, 'Contributions to the chemical history of the compounds of palladium and platinum' by Robert Kane[1842]
MC/2/62Letter from Francis Baily, 37 Tavistock Place, to John George Children, Secretary of the Royal Society26 October 1832
MC/2/147Letter from George Peacock, Trinity College Cambridge, to Dr. [Peter Mark] Roget, Secretary of the Royal Society26 November 1834
MC/2/148Letter from William Whewell, Trinity College Cambridge, to Dr. [Peter Mark] Roget, Secretary of the Royal Society26 November 1834
MC/2/196Letter from Dr. Peter Mark Roget, [Secretary of the Royal Society], to Francis Baily, [Treasurer of the Royal Society]3 March 1836
MC/2/211Letter from [Joseph Barclay] Pentland, 6 Willow Place, London, to Francis Baily, [Treasurer and] Vice-President of the Royal Society6 June 1836
MC/2/232Letter from William Prout, Sackville Street, to Francis Baily, [Treasurer of the Royal Society]25 November 1836
MC/2/252Letter from Charles Few to Francis Baily, [Treasurer of the Royal Society]4 May 1837
MC/2/267Letter from [Heinrich Christian] Schumacher, Altona, to Francis Baily, Vice-President and Treasurer of the Royal Society29 December 1837
MC/3/146Letter from George Biddell Airy, Royal Observatory Greenwich, to Francis Baily, Chairman of the Committee of Astronomy12 March 1841
MC/3/169Letter from Francis Baily, 37 Tavistock Place, to Samuel Hunter Christie, Secretary of the Royal Society10 June 1841
MC/3/176Letter from Henry Raper, Secretary of the Royal Astronomical Society, to Dr. [Peter Mark] Roget, Secretary of the Royal Society22 June 1841
MC/4/23Letter from Francis Baily, 37 Tavistock Place, to Dr [Peter Mark] Roget, Secretary of the Royal Society2 May 1844
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