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Note.-Though the scheme is calculated for 500 persons, it will answer as well for any number, as is plain by the rules of proportion, it not requiring a succession of subs. to support it.

There is also a manuscript note in the first page of the prospectus as follows:ADVERTISEMENT.-Whereas it has been objected that but two-thirds settled in Lond. is not a sufficient security for performance of the art. of the insuring proposal, It is hereby proposed that (if a majority of the subs. in number and value shall so determine) lands to the whole value of the principal sum of £3125 in the ensuing proposal mentioned shall be settled in trust for the said use, provided the 25th article of this proposal be revoked and made null and void.

By Act 12 Anne (stat. 2), c. 16, it was enacted that the legal rate of int. from and after the 29th Sept., 1714, should be 5 p.c. p.a.; and all int. taken above that rate was declared to be usury, and the contract under which the same was taken to be utterly void. It cannot be doubted that the effect of that measure, as of the previous measures reducing the legal rate of int., was to cause the adoption in an increasing degree of various devices for evasion of the restrictions regarding usury; and as this evasion involved a risk over and above the ordinary risk of lending, such second risk had to be paid for by the borrower.

The most common device to cover all the risks involved was the sale of a life annu. A person requiring a loan agreed to repay the amount by granting an annu. on his own life, his estate or securities being held as a pledge for the payment of the same. The mort. tables in use before this date were all in favour of the lender; and the method of such dealings and their object were very generally understood. Even the Government itself, while it was passing these enactments restricting the legal rate of int., was raising money by means of life annu. at very much higher rates!

Mr. M'Culloch, writing of this period in the Ency. Brit., says:

Since the Act of 1714, persons engaged in employments of more than ordinary hazard, or whose character for prudence and punctuality did not stand high, or who could only offer inferior security, were unable to borrow at 5 p.c., and were consequently compelled to resort to a variety of schemes for defeating or evading the enactments in the statute. The most common device was the sale of an annu. Thus supposing any one whose personal credit was indifferent, and who had only the life rent of an estate to give in security, wished to borrow; he sold an annu. to the lender sufficient to pay the int. stipulated for, which, because of the risks and odium attending such transactions, was always higher than the market rate, and also to pay the prem, necessary to insure payment of the principal at the death of the borrower.

Many curious cases came before the law courts out of these dealings, some of which we shall notice as we proceed.

In 1716 the scheme of fishery annu. (originated in 1714) reappeared under somewhat modified conditions, as follows, under date 17th March.

Until the 14th April next, if not full sooner, fishery annu. of £20 a year for life or 21 years, which shall first end, may be bought for £43 a piece, and in proportion for a greater or a lesser sum. And if any of the annuitants die before double the sum paid for his annu. be repaid, the remainder of the

double and £7 a year for ever (a rent-charge out of land) will be paid after his death for every £43 purchase, and in proportion for any other. The fund is sufficient, and security good, as appears under the hand of several eminent counsellors, as well as by the demonstration and table in the book of articles, price 6d., and by thousands of receipts under the hand of such as for several years have constantly received in proportion to £50 p.c. p.a. gain, to be seen at the Fishery office, up one pair of stairs, at the Crown in Fleet Street (near Water Lane, in Lond.), where £140 p.c. will be paid at demand for fishery annu. claimable.

In 1716 articles were pub. and books laid open in King Street, Cheapside, and at St. Paul's Coffeehouse, to take in subs. to estab. a Publick Treasury, to grant annu. for life, and to lend money upon any real security to wholesale dealers, shopkeepers, and others; as also to pay the king's customs for merchants for goods imported; without int., "the Treasury only taking the dis. for prompt payment as allowed by Acts of Parl." Some capital was subs., but the matter remained very much in abeyance until 1720, under which date we shall have occasion to draw special attention to it.

In 1717 the Mercers Co. (whose scheme of annu. we have noticed under date 1698) issued the following notice, under date 26th August:

National interest of money is reduced from 6 to 5 p.c. p.a., and whereas the said Co. hath for several years past received subs. to pay £30 p.c. p.a. to the widows of subs. or other persons entitled thereto : The said Co. hath resolved to receive subs. for the future only after the rate of £25 p.c. p.a. for the benefit of the widows of subs. or such other person or persons as shall become entitled thereto, by virtue of any subs. to be made for the time to come, etc. No one to be admitted after the age of 50. On the 17th August, same year, appeared the following:

Whereas, Augustine Woollaston, of Salisbury Court-square, in Fleet-st., Lond., did in the month of Aug. last put out proposals to grant annuities for the term of 14 years payable half yearly, after the rate of £20 p.c. p.a. This is therefore to acquaint all persons that the said Augustine Woollaston will not grant any more annuities after the 26th of this inst. October.

This Mr. Woollaston will be heard of again in these pages.

We have said in reference to the Government annu. project of 1694, that it is supposed that some frauds were committed. We do not find that Mr. Finlaison included in his observations the mort., or supposed mort., of the lives and nominees of this subs. ; but still it will be interesting to ascertain how these alleged frauds were committed. The author of the Political State of Gt. Brit., pub. 1718, says: "Before I conclude, I shall present my readers with the following thoughts and remarks on the frauds committed in the fund of survivorship, which have lately been pub. by an ingenious foreigner." He proceeds to do so at a length which precludes us from following him in detail. We must content ourselves with a few passages. Thus :

1. It is highly probable that many frauds are committed by false certificates on the part of some contributors to the fund of survivorship and some pretended nominees thereof, for of 1081 nominees concerned in the said fund, only 329 were supposed to be dead in March last, in 25 years' time, that is to say, one in 80 every year, which is the more incredible if we consider that all the said nominees were then infants or very young children, the greatest part of whom dye (generally speaking) under 30 years of age; besides, it is allowed on all hands that every year one in 32 or 36 dye here in Lond., and one in 40 or 50 in the country and in other parts.

If it be ask'd which way those frauds may be committed, 'tis answered, That the sirname of a family being transmitted to all that descend from it in a direct or a collateral line, upon the death of a nominee, one of his brother's cousins, nephews, etc., being in a town where few persons know him but by his sirname, may easily take on himself the Christian name of the deceased, and get a certificate of life under it, or else come to London, and receive himself his pretended dividend.

2. Those frauds are very prejudicial to all the true survivors, for we find that the advantage of survivorship hath been very inconsiderable, viz. but £4 p.c. in 25 years' time; and it will be worse for the future, since, as generations increase, a nominee's Christian name will be made common in his family, and consequently the said frauds will become more practicable. By this means there will remain still a great number of pretended nominees 80 years hence, and so no survivor will ever enjoy 1000 a year, or any other considerable yearly income, as was originally proposed, and expected by those that contributed to this fund, rather than to that of 14 p.c.; 2ndly, this is very prejudicial to His Majesty, for the benefit of survivorship will not answer his use, as long as there shall be 7 nominees living, and it is certain there will be a great many more pretended such 80 years hence.

But if those frauds be detected and prevented, as I apprehend they may, all the true nominees will be gone a great deal sooner, it may be in 20 or 30 years; the benefit of survivorship will increase considerably, answer His Majesty's use in a much shorter time, and the fund be quickly redeemed. 3. I have contrived the following methods for putting a stop to those frauds. 1. That hereafter no certificate of life be admitted in the Exchequer but those wherein it shall be certifyed that the nominee legally made oath that he is truly the person concerned in this fund, and wherein his own hand, age, profession, place of abode, and the names of both his parents shall be set down. I have sent myself many of my own certificates without such descriptions, without surscribing them, and without so much as appearing before those that signed and gave the said certificates of my life to the agent of the contributor whose nominee I am. 2dly. That a list of all the survivors with their description be constantly affixed in the Exchequer, that everybody may examine it, that the same be printed in the Lond. Gazette, and in the French Gazette of Amsterdam, once a year or half year, and that a convenient sum be promised as a reward to any body that knowing any nominee's death, shall first give notice of it by an authentick certificate, under the sign and seal of the magistrate of the town where the deceased shall happen to die and be buryed.

N.B. A list of the dead nominees is affixed in the Exchequer, but there is no such list of the survivors, which is wrong in my opinion, for it is enacted by Parl. that the frauds committed by the receivers shall be punished, and by forcing them to pay back in a month's time the sum received by them, and upon refusal, three times that sum. But how can any such discovery be made and expected, since no body, nor the nominees, nor the contributors themselves, know who is concerned in that fund and who is not?

3dly. That towards the discharging the small expences of print, reward, etc., His Majesty be graciously pleased to grant some small sum to that purpose; or else that the paymasters of that fund be impowered so much a year upon the total dividend; or else that the present survivors do join together to pay the said charges by a mutual and equal contribution, which may be managed as well as

all the premises by an agent at Lond., impowered by the contributors. All those concerned in this fund are desired to meet in person or by their agents, at Tom's Coffee House, in St. Martin's Lane, Lond., at 4 of the clock in the afternoon, on Monday, the 24th of November next, O. S. 1718, to consider and consult together of this or some other proper methods to prevent those frauds.

It seems necessary to explain, as an indication of the reason why "foreigners" should have taken an interest in these supposed frauds, that many of the subs. offered on such advantageous terms by our Government were largely subs. to by foreigners, to whom special permission so to subs. was given in the various acts. In this particular subs. the foreigners were not numerous! Well, the meeting was held at Tom's Coffee House, and it was agreed to subs. 5s. p. £100, for the purpose of investigation, and a committee was appointed to superintend the same.

The first result of the labours of the committee appears to have been the promulgation some new methods to prevent the said frauds," as follows:

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1. That a strict inquiry be made into the claims of the present supposed survivors, and that the same be renewed from time to time in the most exact manner. 2. That the ministers and churchwardens grant no certificate of life to any survivor but upon the oath of two witnesses known to them to be men of probity and credit, who shall testify that they are well acquainted with the said survivor's name and sirname, and know him to be the son of such a father and mother. 3. That those nominees that are assignees of the contributors and receive themselves their own dividends be obliged to produce to the auditor of the Exchequer, or to a committee appointed of 7 nominees, a certificate in the form above specified that they are indeed such persons as they pretend to be. 4. That the list of the present survivors be sent and delivered to every of them and to the contributors on their life, that they might have a watchful eye one on the other, and inquire who is dead and who is alive still. 5. That as a reward to anybody that first legally proves the death of any nominee, the dividend of the deceased be given him for six months or for a whole year. 6. That the Parliament be petitioned to take this affair into their consideration, and to apply thereto some proper remedy. 7. That a committee of 7 nominees be appointed to take all necessary care and trouble for the performance of the premises. 8. That all concerned in this fund do communicate to the said general meeting the best methods they can imagine to be made use of in the affair. 9. That every one of them, or at least those approving of this design, do contribute what they shall think fit to get a clause of the Parliament, or to put in execution any other measures that shall be thought the most proper; which contribution will be but a trifle to every particular member in so numerous a body. 10. The absent survivors are desired to cause their agents at London to meet at the general meeting, with full power to vote, subscribe, and act in their behalf. 11 and lastly, the agents are desired to send this proposal to their principals. The next stage in this bus. was the pub. of New Proofs in the Supposed Frauds in the Survivorships: a document possessed of so much interest as to deserve our especial attention, quite apart from the reasons which induced its pub. We shall condense whereever possible:

FIRST HEAD. NEW PROOFS OF THE SUPPOSED FRAUDS IN THE SURVIVORSHIPS.

1. There was a fund of survivorship made in Paris 29 years ago at 5 p.c., which dividend did increase by advantage of survivorship, in 29 years' time, to 21 p.c., and proportionally in 25 years' time to 8, because there is a select committee to enquire into frauds. Now consequently our int. being at 7 p.c., should have increased in proportion to 26 p.c. instead of 11, which we receive at present. What is the reason of so vast a difference? Do not people dye in England as well as in France, a country so very healthful?

2. The learned and famous Dr. Halley tells us that about a 30th part of the inhabitants of Breslaw, the Capital City of Silesia in Germany, do dye yearly, as Sir William Petty has computed for Lond. (Philo. Trans., p. 610). Capt. John Graunt, Fellow of the Royal Society, tells us in his book of observations on the bills of mort. from Queen Elizabeth to the year 1664, that one in 30 dye in Lond. Again he makes the same computation for Dublin (page 102). Lastly, the same may be made for Paris by the bills of mort. of that city, which you have in pages 144, 146, of the said book. Now by that constant general computation, of 1013 nominees, 33 should have dy'd every year, which multiply'd by 25 years, makes 843 dead. Subtract the nom. sup. in March last, dead 294. The difference of these two numbers is, 5493 dead, which multiply'd by £11, being our present dividend, makes £6047) a year. 3. The said Captain saith (p. 94) that one in 50 dye yearly in the country. He makes his calculation without taking in the fractions, which amounts to 48. By that computation of 1013 nominees, 21 should have dy'd every year, which, multiply'd by 52 years, makes 525 dead. Subtract the nom. sup. in March last, dead 294. The difference of these two numbers is 231 dead, which multiply'd by £11, being our present dividend, makes £2541 a year.

4. The said Captain saith (p. 84) that of 100 children born in one year, only 25 do survive in 26 years' time. There were in the survivorship 20 nominees of 10 months of age and under, of whom only 5 should in proportion survive at present. But there are supposed still 17 alive. How great a disproportion!

5. Doctor Halley tells us that of 1238 children born yearly in Breslaw, 692 remain alive at full 6 years of age (Philo. Trans., p. 598). Then in proportion 20 nominees born in one year should have been reduced in full 6 years' time to eleven and one-fifth survivors. But there are supposed still 17 alive in 20 years more. How can that be?

6. Captain Graunt saith (p. 84) that of 64 children of full 6 years of age, 25 do survive at 26 years of age, and 16 at 36 years of age. Take a medium between 25 and 16 survivors and between their ages, which medium is 20 survivors aged 31 years. There was in this fund 342 nominees of 6 years of age and under, of whom in proportion should remain now 1094 survivors, instead of 252 supposed still alive. The difference is 1424.

7. Children of 6 years of age and under are swept away a great deal faster than young men, aged from 16 to 30 and 35 years, by reason of the many dangerous sicknesses and infirmities which infancy is obnoxious to. This is the constant, certain, general, course of nature. But in this case you will see it quite inverted; for young men from 16 to 35 years of age dy'd 7 in the hundred, faster than children of 6 years of age, which is plain by this calculation: Nominees of 6 years of age and under Total 342... Dead 90 Alive 252 Nominees from 16 to 35 years of age 124 The first dy'd 26 in the hundred, and the second 33. The difference is 7. Now consider that it is an easy matter to substitute one living child in the room of another deceased, but it is not so with people of some considerable age, already known in the world.

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8. Why was it enacted by Parl. that the original interest at 10 p.c. should be reduced to 7 after the first 7 years? Because the Parl. wisely foresaw that a great many nominees would be infants, in hopes

of being the last survivors, and that according to the course of nature, most part of them would be swept away in 7 years' time, so that the increase of int. by their death would make a compensation for the lowering of it from 10 to 7. If this be not the true reason, let anybody tell me any other. N.B.-(Prob. by Ed. of Political State). It was harder to judge of the constitution of children than that of young men of 16 years of age. Besides no prudence can foresee the casualties which infancy is obnoxious to.

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A List of the Nominees living in England and bearing foreign names:
French, born of French parents, some in England, some abroad
French, Dutch, Italian-Names whom I take to be children born of

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It appears by that list-1st. That there is but few nominees foreigners, viz. 60, or the 16th part of the whole. 2nd. That all the Hamburgers, and almost one-half of the French, and of those of Geneva, are dead, and I take the reason of it to be this, viz., they living in small cities are all acquainted one with another, so that their death cannot be concealed to their fellow-citizens, nor a living person put in the room of a deceased one. 3rd. That there were but 3 Germans, all alive still, but whose great quality places them above all suspicion of fraud. 4th. Item but 4 Dutch, of whom one is dead. 5th. That few Jews died in proportion to their number, viz., 2 in 15; among whom but one child in 5 under 6 years of age, which makes me suspect them guilty of some frauds, very easy to be committed by people in their circumstances.

Then we have a general survey of the entire body of subs. and nominees, and some add. observations thereon.

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Hence it appears that foreign children of 6 years of age and under, dyed 7 in the hundred more than foreign nominees above that age, according to the course of nature, which, however, is hard to be remarked in a small number of people, and very easy in a great one. But as I have observed those nominees' death could not be concealed to their fellow-citizens, nor the ministers imposed on that head. The above calculations are made according to the number of nominees, but not of the shares as in the Exchequer, and in my former papers, which occasions some small difference. It is sufficient to have proved that there are frauds. It ought not to be expected that I should yet specify any particular instance, this will depend on the measures that shall be taken for the future. Were the disproportion but small, I should suspect no fraud; but it is so vast, that for that very reason it is incredible.

SECOND HEAD. SOME OTHER METHODS OF COMMITTING FRAUDS.

1st. Suppose I go to the country, and taking a false name, apply to some minister of a parish, to get from him a certificate of life under that name, he will give it me because he knows nothing to the contrary, or if he will not another will; the same thing may be practised in London. 2ndly. Suppose I live in London, the Act of Parl. requires not a certificate of life, provided I appear in person at the Exchequer. 3rd. Suppose under pretence of business, sickness, etc., I send my order to the Exchequer by another person with a receipt under my hand, it may sometimes happen that my order will be admitted. 4thly. The same things may happen in case of my death, as well as if I was alive. N.B. It is 50 to one these frauds are not discovered. If they are the defrauder is only obliged to refund the sum he has received, so that the smallness of the penalty with the unlikelihood of a discovery are a great encouragement for committing them.

THIRD HEAD. NEW THOUGHTS ON THE METHODS FOR PREVENTING FRAUDS.

1st. It is proper that an Act, or a clause in an Act of Parl. be obtained for augmenting the penalty on frauds And it is reasonable to believe that such a clause may be obtained as well in consideration of the justice and equity of the thing itself as with regard to the honour of the legislators, who are concerned to see the true intent of their own act answered. 2ndly. A reward ought to be given to those who shall first give notice of any future death of a nominee. Let the relations of a nominee be honest or not they will chuse rather to get that reward themselves than to leave it to other informers. 3rdly. For the discovery of past frauds a greater encouragement ought to be offered, since such discoveries are more difficult to be made. Admit, therefore, that all or most part of the money that shall be recovered in this case be given to the discoverer, charge being first deducted, the true survivors will find their advantage sufficiently by the future increase of their respective dividends. And in case no more can be recovered from the defrauder, then a convenient reward to be given to the discoverer out of the next dividend, and his name shall be concealed if desired. 4thly. It is very necessary to appoint a committee of nominees to have the care of pub. the list, examining the certifi

cates, and making proper enquiries, the officers of the Exchequer not having leisure to attend such things. 5thly. Add to this that it is proper that all Nominees, even those who live in Lond., be obliged to produce a certificate of life in the form described in the proposals, and that the other methods therein are also to be made use of.

We hear no more of this remarkable incident: indeed, we may fairly say we have heard enough.

The next scheme brought before the public was that of the York Buildings Co. for raising Thames Water, which has a very remarkable hist. of its own. In 1674 Charles II. had granted the projectors a Charter, and in 1691 the Co. became duly incorp., simply for the purpose of supplying the neighbourhood of York Buildings (in the Strand, we believe) with water. We learn from Maitland that "the directors of the same, by purchasing estates, erecting new waterworks, and other pernicious projects, have almost ruined the Corp. However (he continues), their chargeable engines for raising water by fire being laid aside, they continue to work that of horses, which, together with their estates in England and Scotland (of which we shall hear more hereafter), may in time restore the Co.'s affairs."

In the month of March (N.S.), 1719, there appeared in the daily papers the following adv.

The proprietors of the Waterworks in York-buildings intend to dispose of the same at a reasonable price. They are a corp. by Act of Parl. They have the inheritance of the ground whereon their works stand. They have cisterns and works very fit for carrying on the service, and pipes in the street laid on to several tenants, whose rents now amount to above £1600 p.a., and with care and diligence may be improved considerably. Enquire at Mr. Ormes lodgings, at the Waterhouse aforesaid.

On the 16th Oct., same year, the old proprietors agreed to sell their water works and all the appurtenances to Mr. Case Billingsley, Mr. Benjamin Bradley, Mr. James Bradley, Mr. John Hardwar, Mr. Robert Thompson, and Mr. Edward Watts, for the sum of £7000. On the 27th of the same Oct., there was a general court of the (new) proprietors, at which the following resolution was passed:

Ordered and enacted, that this Co. in order to improve their undertaking of raising the Thames water in York-buildings, for the better supplying the inhabitants of this part of Lond. and Westminster, will forthwith lay open a subs. at Mercers Hall for raising a Joint-stock or Fund of £1,200,000 for purchasing forfeited and other estates in Gt. Britain, to be a fund for granting annuities for life, and for assuring lives.

Then appeared the following adv., which developes more of the plan :

The Gov. and Co. of Undertakers for raising Thames Water in York Buildings (who are incorp. for ever by Act of Parl. and impowered to purchase lands and tenements to any value), will on Friday next at Mercers Hall lay open a subs, under their common seal, for raising the sum of £1,200,000 to purchase forfeited and other estates in Gt. Britain, to be a fund for granting annuities for life and assu. lives to all such persons as shall desire the same, paying such valuable considerations as shall be agreed on by the Co. and the persons assured. The proprietors of the Ass'ce. Stock for Ships and M'dize will have the preference for 10 days from the 30th inst., to subs. to this stock in proportion to their stock in the corp. of the Mines Royal, etc., but no person will be admitted to subs. more than £10,000, nor less than £200 thereto.

Some of the points in this adv. will only be fully comprehended by the reader when we come to the hist. of MARINE INS.

In reference to the estates referred to, it may be briefly stated that in 1717 an Act, 4 Geo. I, c. 8, had been passed vesting the forfeited estates (resulting from the preceding political troubles) in Gt. Brit. and Ireland in trustees, to be sold for the use of the public. And in this present year 1719 a further Act had been passed--6 Geo. 1, c. 24-for better explaining the nature of the conveyances to be made to the purchasers of the forfeited estates; and for enabling such corp. as shall purchase any of the said estates to grant annu. not exceeding the yearly value of the said estates.

We hope we have now made the programme clear. Certain persons desire to deal in annu. They do not see any direct method of gaining Par'. authority-to obtain which, as we shall hereafter see [LIFE, and MARINE Ins.], many futile attempts were being made at this period. A corp. falls into difficulties. Its whole property and affairs-including its Charter-are to be purchased for £7000. They are purchased by men who know how to turn at least the Charter to account. A new cap. is raised-the cap. was subs., and £10 p. share paid up. These 10 shares realized as much as 305 each a few months later! A portion of such cap. is employed in purchasing forfeited estates. Parl. declares that any corp. purchasing such estates may grant annu. Ah, Case Billingsley, and you, James Bradley-will it ever be known what share you respectively had in manipulating that Act? But your names are not yet familiar to our readers. It is enough for the moment that you obtained a Charter and granted annu.! The rest will appear in due sequence.

Towards the close of this same year, 1719, a subs. was opened for £1,200,000 for securing annu., settling of jointures, and assuring of lives. The subs. contract was as follows:

That the subs. do agree to pay the respective sums against their names, in such proportions as shall be called for by a Court of Directors, and in order to obtain a charter the better to carry on the said design, they agree to pay 2s. 6d. p.c. on the sums by them subs.; which subs. money is to be paid into the hands of Messrs. Green and Eades, and is not to be taken thence but by an order signed by a majority of the committee. And also agreed that any subs. may have liberty to withdraw his subs. on notice in writing to Mr. Henry Symonds, at his house in Friday Street, at any time within seven days

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