Francis Baily

Francis Baily
Francis Baily (The Royal Astronomical Society).jpg
Royal Astronomical Society portrait
Born(1774-04-28)28 April 1774
Died30 August 1844(1844-08-30) (aged 70)
London, England
Resting placeSt Mary's Church in Thatcham
Known forBaily's beads
President of the Royal Astronomical Society
AwardsGold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1827 & 1843)
Scientific career

Francis Baily (28 April 1774 – 30 August 1844) was an English astronomer. He is most famous for his observations of "Baily's beads" during an eclipse of the Sun. Baily was also a major figure in the early history of the Royal Astronomical Society, as one of the founders and president four times.


Baily was born at Newbury in Berkshire in 1774 to Richard Baily.[1] After a tour in the unsettled parts of North America in 1796–1797, his journal of which was edited by Augustus de Morgan in 1856, Baily entered the London Stock Exchange in 1799. The successive publication of Tables for the Purchasing and Renewing of Leases (1802), of The Doctrine of Interest and Annuities (1808), and The Doctrine of Life-Annuities and Assurances (1810), earned him a high reputation as a writer on life-contingencies; he amassed a fortune through diligence and integrity and retired from business in 1825, to devote himself wholly to astronomy.[2]

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