The volume contains tables to calculate values of annuities for various terms of years, from birth to the age of 96. Folio 1r is annotated in pencil: 'Northampton tables 3 per cent. Tables for finding the amount of an annuity of £1 for terms', and 'Barretts Tables vide F. Baily'. The manuscript is undated but the paper is watermarked 1814. Enclosed is a sheet of tables, annotated: 'By these tables the values of any member of joint lives may be found not exceeding 4 joint lives agreeable to the hypothesis of an equal decrement of life, off all ages.'
The tables appear to be based upon the work of George Barrett (1752-1821), actuary, and Francis Baily (1774-1844), stockbroker and astronomer. Barrett developed a series of life-assurance and annuity tables using a columnar method. These came to the attention of Baily, who read a paper on them to the Royal Society in 1812, which was published as an appendix to the 1813 edition of Baily's Doctrine of interest and annuities. During the 18th century mortality tables were produced from records of deaths in several towns in order to show how many people, out of a certain number living there at each age, die annually. These enabled actuaries to calculate what level of annuity would be sufficient to provide for the payment of a fixed sum, say £100, at death. One of the first and most widely used mortality tables was that produced by Richard Price for Northampton - see his Observations on reversionary payments (1772) - although Francis Baily later showed that this was unreliable.
Source: William J. Ashworth, 'Baily, Francis (1774-1844)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press -- http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/1077.