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just as by hard and constant digging they were brought to light. Am I right? I await with anxiety, and yet with hope, the award.

The usefulness of the publication I venture to think will consist quite as much in the details of what has passed away as of what still exists.

Some few explanations seem necessary. They can all be aptly made in the language of writers who have travelled over portions of the same road.

The late PROFESSOR DE MORGAN-who was pleased to take a most lively interest in the progress of these pages, and I most sincerely wish he had survived their advent-says in the introduction to Arithmetical Books (1847):

The most worthless book of a bygone day is a record worthy of preservation. Like a telescopic star, its obscurity may render it unavailable for most purposes; but it serves, in hands which know how to use it, to determine the places of more important bodies.

The late venerable CHARLES Babbage—one of the earliest writers on Life Insurance in a popular form-said in his Comparative View (1826):—

If the reader should think that I have been too sparing of praise, too ready to criticize, let him consider that my object has been to collect and arrange information for his use; and that my criticisms may not be without value even to the Institutions that gave rise to them.

MR. WM. THOMAS THOMSON, of Edinburgh, whom I have to thank for the warm interest he has shown in this undertaking, says in the learned article on Life Insurance in the last edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica :—

In the historical part of the subject, generally a certain amount of plagiarism must be conceded, and of that kind too which does not admit of direct acknowledgment.

The late JOHN HOOPER HARTNOLL, than whom a more sagacious and conscientious journalist never lived-and who, I may add, also took the deepest interest in the progress of these pages-said, some years since, in answer to a correspondent who asked for information concerning some six or eight Insurance offices :—

Will our correspondent be so good as to reflect upon the time it would take to furnish such an account even of one office as would serve to guide a stranger in determining upon the propriety of becoming agent for it-and then further reflect upon the labour of giving the like information respecting eight different companies, all possessing different points of merit or demerit-and he will be able to form a notion of the task he is desirous of imposing upon us.

Mr. J. A. FOWLER, author of the Pennsylvania Insurance Handbook (1860)—a work well worthy of finding readers on this side-says therein :—

To indite the history of a great financial agency, which, as it permeates through the social system, touches a hundred points at once, like the many-armed son of Coelus, while no annalist has heretofore kept legible the course of the record, is a task whose difficulty can be appreciated only by those who have assayed such a labour.

I shall have thanks to offer to several friends for assistance rendered

in the past, and to come. This pleasant task must be deferred till the completion of the work.


London, N. W., Oct. 1871.



The design of this work is that it shall be, as far as possible, self-interpreting. All technical terms used in its pages are explained in its pages, in their alphahetical order.

The arrangement of subjects is strictly Alphabetical.

The arrangement of articles is, as far as possible, Chronological. Dates are given whenever possible. Writers on Insurance subjects generally, have a great disregard for chronological exactitude.

Words in Small Capitals placed in brackets, as [USURY], mean that the subject will be further treated of under that head.

When Small Capitals are used in the text without the brackets, it signifies that the subject is, or will be, treated of as a separate article.

Offices founded in London, or books published there, are not individually so designated in the following pages. The rule we have followed is to state all the exceptions. Therefore where it is not specifically stated otherwise, London is to be assumed.

We are especially desirous of noticing all INSURANCE PAMPHLETS. Many of these are privately printed, or only accessible through their authors. Our thanks will be due for any contributions of this description.

A Table of the principal Abbreviations used in the work is given on the next page.

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Art. of Sett.

Annual report

Annuities, annuity
Apprenticeship Insurance
Articles of Association
Articles of Settlement

Assure, assured, assurance,


Assurance Magazine


Liquidator, liquidation, liqui



Marine, Marine Insurance Magazine


Mar. Ins.

Marriage Insurance

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Bill of mortality

Bonus, Bonuses

Britain, British, Britannia Business

Christening Insurance

Off. Man.


Mortality observation


New York


Observations Official liquidator Official manager Ordinance Original

Per annum



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Co. Cos.

Company, Companies

Parl. Com.

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Con. act.

Consulting actuary

Phil. Trans.




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Parliamentary Committee Participation

Philosophical Transactions

Policy, policies


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Premium, premiums

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Prov. regis.

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Fidelity guarantee

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ABACUS.-An ancient instrument used for facilitating numerical calculations. ABACUS: ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH EQUITABLE ASSO. "for the effecting of Mut. and the granting of Guaranteed Assu. on lives and survivorships." The Asso. was projected some 20 years since (we cannot determine the precise date), and we quote from the preliminary prosp. then issued. The Cap. was to be £500,000 in 25,000 shares of £20. "It is proposed that boards of direction, empowered to grant policies, shall be constituted at Lond. Edin. Glasgow, and other places.' The Asso. was intended to embrace the following branches of business :- 1. Mut. assu. 2. The granting of "Guaranteed assu." with parti. in profits. 3. The same without parti. The Asso. was to possess "the most complete and varied set of Tables hitherto pub. ;" and "to prevent any mistake as to what may be the value of a policy, the value which each will have acquired at the end of any completed year of its duration will be endorsed on every policy issued by the Asso. The schedule of values will be cancelled, and a new and a higher Table endorsed on those policies which have attained higher values in consequence of any additions which may have been made to the sum assu. by way of bonus, or of any diminution of future prems. The prospectus was one of the most carefully prepared we have ever met with. We have noted its really original features. The promoters indeed appear to have expended all their force on it. The project advanced no further. We believe Mr. Edward Ryley prepared the Tables, which were original and elaborate.

ABANDONEE, one to whom anything is abandoned: as an underwriter to whom a ship is


ABANDONMENT in Marine Ins. is the relinquishment by the insured to the insurer of his right to what is saved out of a wreck, when the thing insured has, by some of the usual perils of the sea, become practically valueless. Upon abandonment the insured is entitled to call upon the insurers to pay the full amount of the Ins., as in the case of a total loss. The loss is in such case called a "Constructive total loss." The damage to a cargo must exceed half its value to entitle the insured to abandon, and recover as for a total loss; and to justify the abandonment of the ship the particular injuries must be such that no repairs would render her seaworthy for the remainder of the voyage, or that the cost of making her seaworthy would exceed her value when repaired. The insured must give notice of his intention to abandon, and claim as for total loss to the underwriters, or their agents, within a "reasonable time" after he has received intelligence of the casualty, otherwise it will be taken that he intends to claim for a partial loss only. Abandonment very frequently takes place in cases of capture; the loss is then total, and no question can arise in respect of it. Where, however, a ship and cargo are re-captured within such a time that the object of the voyage is not lost, the insured is not entitled to abandon. The mere stranding of a ship is not deemed of itself such a loss as will justify an abandonment. If by some fortunate accident, by the exertions of the crew, or by borrowed assistance, the ship can be got off and rendered capable of continuing her voyage, the insurers are only liable for the expenses occasioned by the stranding. It is only where the stranding is followed by shipwreck, or the ship is in any other way rendered incapable of prosecuting her voyage, that the insured can abandon.

The subject is of great importance, as abandonment is of very frequent occurrence in Marine Ins. It is very ably handled by Arnould, Marshall, Park, and in the Law Lexicon. This right of abandonment by the Insured to the Insurer is held not to be applicable to the contract of Fire Ins. An attempt was made to enforce its adoption a few years since. The arguments on the subject are given in Bunyon's Law of Fire Ins. p. 104-5.

ABATEMENT.-Abatements for prompt payment or otherwise from the original cost of
goods as charged in bills of parcels and invoices, as also allowances, discounts, drawback,
etc., at the Custom-house, are often very considerable, and ought to be inquired into, and
deductions made accordingly in calculating the true value of the interest insured, and in
stating an average loss; which otherwise may on some occasions be adjusted very
ABATEMENT OF PREMIUM.-The profits of Life Offices are sometimes said to be applied
in Abatement of prem. We prefer to speak of it as Reduction of prem.
ABBOTT, CHARLES (LORD TENTERDEN), pub. in Lond. in 1802: A Treatise of the Law
relative to Merchant Ships and Seamen. This work bears a high character, and is fre-
quently cited upon questions of Commercial Law. It has passed through many eds. in
One of the latest in England was 1856-10th ed. by Mr. Serj.
Lord Eldon termed this
England and America.
Shee. We shall quote from it in the course of these pages.
an excellent work.

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This Asso. was regis. in 1864, being "Limited by GuaIt may be regarded as an Ins. Club. rantee" under the provisions of the Cos. Act of 1862. ABERDEEN Assu. Co. founded in the city whose name it bears in 1825, for F. and L. Ins. Its authorized cap. was £1,000,000 in 20,000 shares of £50. The Co. has been solid and well managed from the beginning. Its business was for many years very small, and In 1852 the Co. obtained an act of Incorp., chiefly confined to the North of Scotland. on which occasion it took power to change its name, and did change it to the Scottish Provincial, under which title we shall furnish a more complete hist. ABERDEEN FIRE INS. Asso.

This Asso. was founded late in the past or early in the present century. It returned duty in 1805 to the amount of £970 14s. 4d.; but we cannot trace its subsequent hist. That it had passed out of existence before 1825 may be fairly assumed by the founding of the office last named.

ABERDEEN MARINE INS. Co.-Founded in Aberdeen in 1839. It continued in business up to 1848, when it passed into Liq.

Mr. Alex. Yeates was ABERDEEN MUTUAL AND FRIENDLY INS. So.-Founded in Aberdeen in 1831, for the purpose of carrying on the business of Health, Life and Fire Ins. its Act. and Sec.

We cannot trace its later hist.

ABERYSTWITH MUT. SHIP. Ins. So. was projected at Aberystwith in 1853, for the
purposes of Mut. Marine Ins. Whether now in existence we cannot ascertain.
In law it is used in different senses, to denote
ABODE, habitation, or place of residence.

"Abode" seems

the place of a man's residence or business, temporary or permanent. larger and looser in its import than the word "residence," which in strictness means where a man lives, i.e., where he sleeps, or is at home.-Law Lex. ABORTIVE INS. Asso.-By these must be understood Ins. Asso. which having been completely estab. in a legal sense, have either failed to do business, or have not done sufficient to maintain a separate existence. They have mostly, therefore, died out at a very early date. Some have trans. any bus. obtained to another Co., others have passed into Liq. We shall give a list of Abortive Asso. in Tables to be appended to this work. mortality Table of Ins. Offices they would rank as having died within the first year after birth. This would give them an average duration of six months. ABORTIVES.-See STILL-BORN CHILDREN.

In a

ABOUT, MONS. Edmond, pub. in Paris a few years since L'Assurance, 2nd ed. 1866. He has also contributed an interesting series of articles on Life Ins. to some of the French newspapers. ABBREVIATION, an abridging or contracting. A Table of the Abbreviations used in this The 4 Geo. II. c. 26 (1731), provided work is given on the page preceding letter A. that all law proceedings in the English language should be written legibly, and in words at length, and not abbreviated. Those who have occasion to consult old Acts of Parl. and The 6 Geo. II. c. 14 (1733), permitted records will appreciate the value of this rule. numbers to be expressed in figures. ABROAD, RESIDENCE.-See FOREIGN RESidence. ABSENCE. The question not unfrequently arises in Ins. practice whether a person who has left his usual place of residence for some years, and has not been heard of, may be presumed to be alive or dead. As early as 1714, Nicolas Bernoulli applied the science of prob. to the solution of the question of the time after which an absent person may be reputed as dead. Our law now holds that where a person has not been heard of for seven years, he is presumed to be dead. [DEATH, PROOF OF.] ABSOLUTE ASSIGNMENT.-See ASSIGNMENT.

ABSOLUTE AND CONTINGENT REVERSIONARY INTEREST AND INVESTMENT CO., LIM.-A Co. under this title was projected in Lond. in 1862. It went no further. ABSOLUTE LIFE ASSU. So., founded in 1856, with an authorized Cap. of £100,000 in "Policies are so framed as to render 20,000 shares of £5; mixed; profits every 5 years.

the amount assu, certain and absolute." Diseased lives and acclimatized lives were ins. "All-world policies" issued. "Assu. are granted payable in the event of loss of Life by fire; also to emigrants and others payable in the event of loss of Life by shipwreck during any voyage at sea, including a provision for payment of reward to persons saving the lives

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