The Davis Library’s collection includes three early documents, each titled “Annuities on Life, 1757.” The first document, dated February 7, 1774, shows that Sir Timothy Waldo received of the Honorable Thomas Townshend, one of the four tellers of His Majesty’s Exchequer, the sum of fifty pounds in full of all former directions and for the six months annuity due the fifth day of July 100 pounds per annum…during the life of Henry Wilson Mills.
The next document is dated July 29, 1782. Sir Timothy Waldo again receives of His Majesty’s Exchequer (this time from a different teller, the Honorable John Jeffryes Pratt) fifty pounds for the annuity he holds during the life of the same Henry Wilson Mills.
The third document is also from 1782, but a few months earlier, on March 26. Sir Roger Mostyn received of the Honorable John Jeffryes Pratt, teller of His Majesty’s Exchequer, the sum of one hundred and twelve pounds for the twelve months annuity during the life of Thomas Mostyn.
Each of these documents states that the annuitiy is made available by virtue of an act of parliament, “Entitled, An Act for Granting to His Majesty several Rates and Duties upon Indentures and other Deeds, and upon News Papers, Advertisements and Almanacks; and upon Licenses for retailing Wine; and upon Coals exported for Foreign Parts; and for applying for the Sums of Money arising from the Surplus of the Duties on Licenses for retailing Spirituous Liquors; and for rasing the Sum of Three Millions, by Annuities, to be charged on the said Rates and Duties, and Sums of Money, for the Service of the Year 1757.”