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three gentlemen, well known for their skill in calculation. This occasioned a further reference to me; and the issue was, that the plan being found to be insufficient, the whole design was laid aside.

About the same time, several other societies were formed with the same views; but all on plans alike improper and insufficient. Finding, therefore, that the public wanted information on this subject, I was led to undertake this work, imagining that it might be soon finished, and that all I could say might be brought into a very narrow compass. But in this I have been much mistaken. A design which I at first thought would give little trouble, has carried me far into a very wide field of inquiry; and engaged me in many calculations that have taken up much time and labour. I shall, however, be sufficiently rewarded for my labour, should it prove the means of preventing any part of that distress, which is likely to be hereafter produced by the sos. now subsisting for the benefit of widows. I have proved the inadequateness of their plans, by undeniable facts and mathematical demonstration. I have further given an account of some of the best plans, which are consistent with sufficient prob. of permanency and success. Should, therefore, any of these sos. determine to reform themselves, or should any institutions of the same kind be hereafter established, they will here find direction and assistance.

He adds:

The general disposition, which has lately shown itself to encourage these sos. is a matter of the most serious concern, and ought I think to be taken under the notice of the Legislature. The leading persons amongst the present members will be the first annuitants; and they are sure of being gainers: and the more insufficient the scheme is on which the so. is formed, the greater will be the gains of the first annuitants. The same principle, therefore, that has produced and kept up other bubbles has a tendency to preserve and promote these; and for this reason, it is to be feared, that in the present case no arguments will be attended with any effect.

He adds the following foot-note by way of confirmation to the preceding :

This apprehension has been verified by fact. At the beginning of last winter a letter was pub. to the Provident So. containing a clear proof of the insufficiency of the plans of all these sos. It was at least to be expected that such a pub. would prevent the rise of new sos., formed on more inadequate plans. But this was so far from being the effect, that soon afterwards a so. sprung up which calls itself the Rational Annu. So.; and which, though it does not take half the values of the annuities it promises, has had the shamelessness to assure the public that it is formed on a plan incontestably durable. The Consolidated, the Public Annuitant, and the Westminster Union Sos. are yet worse inst. which have been since formed; and there may, for ought I know, be many more; for indeed all Lond. seems now to be entering into asso. of this kind.

He returns to his text, and continues:

The consideration that "the gain made by some of these sos. will be so much plunder taken from others," ought immediately to engage all to withdraw from them who have any regard to justice and humanity; but experience proves, that this argument, when opposed to private interest, is apt to be too feeble in its influence.

It cannot be said with precision how long these sos. may continue their payments to annuitants after beginning them. A continued increase, and a great proportion of young members, may support them for a longer time than I can foresee. But the longer they are supported by such means, the more mischief they must occasion. So a tradesman, who sells cheaper than he buys, may be kept up for many years by increasing bus. and credit; but he will be all the while accumulating distress; and the longer he goes on, the more extensive ruin he will produce at last.

It is impossible that any one could have spoken more earnestly, and more to the point than this. He proceeds to give the reader an outline of the contents of the work:

In the first essay I have made many obs. on the expectations of lives, the pernicious influence of great towns on health and manners and pop.; the increase of mankind; and other subjects in the doctrine of annu. and political arithmetick. In the last essay I have stated carefully the proper method of forming tables of the prob. of human life, from given obs., and in the appendix, besides several new tables, I have thought it necessary to give Mr. Simpson's Tables of the Values and expectations of Lond. lives; and all the other tables which can be wanted in the perusal of this work. The plan of the work, and its method, may be gathered by those who are not already familiar with these, by the following:

Question 1. A set of married men enter into a so. for securing annu. to their widows. What sum of money, in a single present payment, ought every member to contribute, in order to entitle his widow to an annu. of £30 p.a. for her life, estimating int. at 4 p.c.?

Answer. It is evident that the value of such an expectation is different, according to the different ages of the purchasers, and the proportion of the age of the wife to that of the husband. Let us then suppose that every person in such a so. is of the same age with his wife, and that, one with another, all the members when they enter may be reckoned 40 years of age, as many entering above this age as below it.

He then reasons out the value as demonstrated by the hypothesis of De Moivre, and the table of Simpson; and he offers the following obs. regarding the labours of these gentlemen:

Mr. De Moivre has calculated the values of single lives on the supposition of an equal decrement of life thro' all its stages till the age of 86, which he has considered as the utmost possible extent of life. This hypothesis eases very much the labour of calculating the values of lives; and it is so conformable to Dr. Halley's Table of Obs. that there is little or no reason for distinguishing between the values of lives as deduced from this table, and the same values deduced from the hypothesis.

In order to avoid putting the reader to trouble, I have given this table at the end of this work, and I have also given two other tables, which I have formed from the B. of Mort, at Northampton and Norwich. These last tables answer more nearly to Mr. De Moivre's hypothesis than even Dr. Halley's table; and the difference between the values of single and joint lives by the hypothesis, and the same values computed strictly from the tables, is generally less in these tables than in Dr. Halley's, as will be shown in the last essay. When, therefore, in the course of this work the values of single and joint lives are mentioned, as given agreeably to Dr. Halley's, it must be understood that they are taken from Tables VI. and VII. [De Moivre's single and joint lives] in the appendix, and given in strict agreement only to the hypothesis; that for this reason they are still more conformable to the Northampton and Norwich Tables.

It was in this quiet manner that the NORTHAMPTON TABLE, which has since played

such an important part in ins. hist., was first introduced by its founder; he himself in the same work using De Moivre's hypothesis in his calculations-perhaps chiefly because no money values had then been deduced from his own table. We must now note the course he pursued regarding lives resident in Lond., and his reasons for so doing:

The inhabitants of Lond., as is well known, not living so long as the rest of mankind, the values of single and joint lives there are considerably less than in any other place where obs. have been kept. Whenever, therefore, I have had Lond. lives in view, I have given particular notice of it, and taken their values from Mr. Simpson, who has calculated them with much accuracy from the Lond. tables of obs.

The learned Doctor then proceeds with a series of propositions in the shape of questions, framed with great ingenuity, to meet the circumstances of the various annu. sos. then existing in Lond. and elsewhere; and he frames his answers in such a manner as to convey the most clear information on the topic under discussion-always indicating the source of information he calls to his aid; and even analyzing its accuracy or otherwise. By these means he gained the confidence of his readers, and ought to have gained the confidence of the persons in the management of the asso. upon which he commented. His next step was to take up the schemes of two of the sos.-the Laudable, and the Lond. Annuitants-and to apply in direct form the conclusions of his preceding reasoning to the circumstances of those asso. In this we do not propose to follow him here. When we deal with the individual hist. of those offices, we shall have occasion to note some of his obs., as also those of Dale on the same asso. We propose here to subjoin some of his general obs. on this part of his investigation :

There are in this kingdom several inst. for the benefit of widows, besides the two on which I have now remarked; and in general as far as I have had any information concerning them, they are founded on plans equally inadequate. The motives which influence the contrivers of these inst. are without doubt laudable; but they ought, I think, to have informed themselves better. This appears sufficiently from what has been said; but I will just mention one further proof of it.

The Lond. Annu. So. promises that if in 21 years, and the Laudable So. that if in 25 years, it shall appear that there has been all along an ann. surplus in favour of the sos., it shall be employed in either raising the annu., or in sinking the ann. payments. Now, they may be assured, that if at the end of these periods, they should not be possessed of a considerable surplus, the true reasons will be their having granted much higher annu. than the ann. contributions are able permanently to support: for it has been demonstrated, that the number of annuitants, and consequently the amount of the ann. expenses, will go on increasing for a long course of years beyond these periods. The effect therefore of carrying into execution this regulation, will be precipitating that bankruptcy which would have come too soon had there been no such regulation.

It has been said in defence of these sos. that the deficiencies in their plans cannot be of much consequence, because their rules oblige them to preserve a constant equality between their income and expenses, by reducing the annu. as there shall be occasion. And from hence it is inferred that they can never be in any danger of a bankruptcy. In answer to this, it has appeared, that the time when they will begin to feel deficiencies is so distant that it will be too late to remedy past errors, without sinking the annu. so much as to render them inconsiderable and trifling. All that is given too much to present annuitants is so much taken away from future annuitants. And if a scheme is very deficient, the first annu. may for 30 or 40 years receive so much more than they ought to receive, as to leave little or nothing for any who come after them. Deficient schemes therefore are attended with particular injustice; and this injustice will be the same, if, instead of reducing the annu., the ann. payments should be increased; for all the difference this can make will be, to cause the injustice to fall on future contributors instead of future annuitants.

But what requires most to be considered here is, that, after either the annu. have been for some time in a state of reduction or the contributions in a state of increase, it will be seen that these sos. have gone upon wrong plans, and therefore they will be deserted and avoided; the consequence of which will prove still greater deficiencies in their ann. income, and a more rapid desertion and decline, 'till a total dissolution and bankruptcy will take place. This will be the death of most of the present sos. for providing for widows, if they continue to be encouraged, and do not soon alter their plans. And at that period the number of annuitants will be greater than ever; whose annuities, having no other support than the poor remains of a stock always insufficient, will be soon left, without the possibility of relief, to lament that ignorance and credulity which gave rise to these sos. and which had so long supported them.

Anything more truly and rationally prophetic was never written. his work he makes a sort of individual or personal appeal in this form:

In a later part of

As the persons who conduct these schemes can mean nothing but the advantage of the public, they ought to listen to these obs. At present their plans are capable of being reformed; but they cannot continue so always: for the greater the number of exorbitant payments they now make to annuitants, the more they consume the property of future annuitants, and the less practicable a retreat is rendered to a rational and equitable and permanent plan. They should therefore immediately either reduce their schemes, or change them into one of those which I have proposed. But I am afraid this is not to be expected. The neglect with which they have received some remonstrances that have been already made to them gives reason to fear that what has been now said will be in vain; and that those who are to come after them must be left to rue the consequences of their mistakes.

It is perhaps easier to understand the unwillingness of the managers to attempt reform, when the exacting character of the requirements of the learned Doctor upon them is seen : Should any of these sos., sensible of their mistakes, resolve to reform themselves, they ought to consider that this cannot be done by only obliging future members to pay the just values of the annu. promised them. All the present members must likewise, besides raising their payments, make compensation for what they have hitherto paid too little; and this compensation is to be calculated in the following manner.-Find the whole amount, to the present time, of the payments which have been made. Subtract this from the whole amount of the payments which should have been made; and the remainder will be the compensation required.

This is a fair specimen of his method of handling bus. matters. His remedies were thorough, and admitted of no compromise.

About this period there had been various proposals made with a view to paying off the National Debt; and one of the proposals was that the debt might be discharged by means of Life Annu. Dr. Price offered, in his Essay on the National Debt, forming part of the work now under notice, the following obs., with a view to show "how vain an imagination this is":

Let us suppose that £33,333,000 is to be paid off by offering to the public creditors life annu. in lieu of their 3 p. cents. A life at 60, supposing int. at 3 p.c., and the prob. of life as in the Breslaw, Norwich, and Northampton Tables of obs., is worth 9 years' purchase. A life at 30 is worth 15 years' purchase. Certainly therefore no scheme of this kind would be sufficiently inviting, which did not offer 8 p.c. at an average to all subs. Let us, however, suppose that no more than 74 is given; and that there are 33,333 subs. at £1000 stock each, for which a life annu. is to be granted of £75, or for the whole stock subs. 24 millions. A million and a half extraordinary, therefore, must be provided towards paying these annu.

Let us further suppose, that the subs. are persons between the ages of 30 and 60; and that the numbers of them at all the intermediate ages are in the same proportions to one another, with the proportions of the living at these ages, as they exist in the world, or, as they are given in the tables of obs. Let us again suppose that as these annu. die off, they are immediately replaced by others who are continually offering themselves at the same ages and in the same proportional numbers at these ages, with those of the orig. subs. at the time they subs.: in consequence of which the whole number of annu. and the whole number of annuitants will be kept always the same. In these circumstances it will be 30 years at least before a number will die off equal to the whole number: that is before 33 millions of debts will be annihilated. But had the extraordinary million and half provided for paying these annu. been employed during this time in paying off so much of the debt at par every year, extinguishing at the same time every year an equivalent tax, 45 millions would have been paid. But had the savings also instead of being sunk as they arose, been employed in the same manner, 71 millions would have been paid.

The nation therefore must, without doubt, lose greatly by all schemes of this kind; and yet they have been often much talked of; and indeed I shall not wonder, should I hereafter see an attempt made to pay off the National Debt in this way.

Among the various tables included by Dr. Price in his work were the three following: 1. Table showing the value of an annu. of £1 on a single life, according to Mr. De Moivre's hopothesis, "and therefore nearly according to the prob. of life at Breslaw, Norwich, and Northampton." This table is the same with that pub. by De Moivre in his Treatise on Life Annu. It was carried as far as the age of 79 to 3 places of decimals by Mr. Dodson in his Mathematical Repository (vol. ii. p. 169); and is here carried on to age 85.

2. Table showing the prob. of life at Northampton. This was the first appearance of the famed NORTHAMPTON TABLE OF MORT., under which title we shall give a complete account of the data on which it was founded.

3. Table showing the prob. of life at Norwich. We shall give a full account of this table under NORWICH TABLE OF MORT.

The values of annu. on lives were not at this date deduced from these last-named tables; but the following specimen table furnishes the values at certain specified ages for the purpose of comparison. Int. at 4 p.c. in each case :

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As has been before observed, the values by the Hypothesis come nearer to the values of the Norwich and Northampton than the Breslau table.

In 1772 there was published a work: Calculations deduced from First Principles, in the most Familiar Manner, by Plain Arithmetic: for the Use of the Sos. instituted for the Benefit of Old Age: intended as an Introduction to the Study of the Doctrine of Annu. “By a member of one of the Sos." The work at p. 247 bore the initials "W. D.," and is now known to have been written by William Dale, of whom we shall give some account in alphabetical order. The author says:

Dr. Halley, Mr. De Moivre, and Mr. Simpson have treated of annu. very copiously many years since. If their manner seemed obscure to the generality of readers, there have been elucidations pub. ten months ago by the ingenious Dr. Price;-yet, notwithstanding this, the directors, managers, etc., of the sos. instituted for the benefit of old age, still continue ignorant of the subject. This is the most favourable construction: for otherwise how could honest men persist in pub. promises that decoy, deceive, and plunder the unsuspecting believer?

When the reader shall have perused the following sheets, he may cease to wonder at their want of knowledge; for he will meet with more than one instance of their unwillingness to be informed, and of their determination not to understand. . As to the majority of the members who

support such proceedings by their votes, they are not only parties concerned and still less conversant in the bus., but also seem to enjoy the delusion like a pleasing dream; and would much more regret the being waked out of it, than be thankful to the friend who by it should prevent the most vexatious disappointment, or the most imminent misfortune.

To this may be imputed the cold reception all endeavours meet with which tend to destroy the flattering hope, and their readiness to listen to anything, however false, which soothes it. Such

counsel as accords with the wishes of the heart steals imperceptibly its attention and confidence; while honest truth is disregarded, rejected, and huffed for an intruder.

From such members their censure is the praise, their reproaches are the thanks which the writer must expect. They may prove to be but partial readers of this essay, and will more eagerly collect its faults, though the catalogue be ever so long, than usefully apply one remark to the reformation of (what they maintain has need of none) the plan of their so.

We have now, we think on sufficient authority, presented a picture of the condition of the ANNU. ASSO. of Gt. Britain a century ago. It was essential, in view of events that follow, to make this clear.

Regarding Dale, the writer last quoted, it is clear, not only upon his own authority (see p. 85), but from collateral circumstances, that he had commenced an investigation into the position of these annu. asso. some time before Dr. Price's work was pub. Indeed the latter very early in his work refers to a letter which had been addressed (in Sept. 1771) to the Provident Annu. So., "containing a clear proof of the insufficiency of the plans of all these sos. ;" and in that letter Dale said:

I have for some months had the schemes of the several sos. under consideration, and shall perhaps before Christmas pub. some calculations which will prove in the plainest manner that not one of them will be able to fulfil their engagements; that the different ages do not pay the due proportion to each other; nor are the terms of paying admission fine, and paying none, equal and that a person to be admitted member of any one of them must pay now considerably more than any one (considered collectively) has done; which in some of the sos. is actually defrauding under false pretences; though yours partly escapes the censure by having pub. what every hundred members have paid, and therefore the state of your so. is not concealed.

However, the fame of Dr. Price really caused Dale's work to be passed over almost in silence; although the Doctor himself has testified that in this work "the principles on which the values of all annu. on single lives are determined, and the method of calculating them, are explained with the greatest clearness." We hope Dale, who was a man in humble position-a house steward in a nobleman's family-lived long enough to read the testimony of a contemporary author who so nearly altogether eclipsed him.

The object of the two authors being so similar, and their method of treatment being in many respects almost analagous, it should, and does, follow that the results respectively arrived at are very nearly uniform. For this reason we do not propose to follow Dale at any great length here. We shall have occasion to quote him in other parts of this work, and hope to rescue him from that entire oblivion into which he has so nearly fallen. He had not even a place in the British Museum Catalogue until we interfered on his behalf. After elucidating the principles involved in the proper working of annu. asso., he sets up two imaginary sos. the one he calls the Impartial So., and this is assumed to be "founded on honesty and just principles of calculation;" the other he calls the Politic Gotham So., which was intended to represent many of the then existing asso. He says:

Animadversions may be freely made on both of these; and the praise or censure that is due to either may be bestowed without prejudice or restraint, since no one can be an interested party in a so. that has no real existence. As the writer would wish to give no offence to any so. whatever that doth exist, but to preserve impartiality to all of them, 'tis hoped they will not apply more of what follows to themselves than what they certainly know to be apt and true.

The general inquiries which he proceeds to make regarding each of these sos. are the following:

1. What do the members pay in present money? that is the total of the value of the money paid down, and of half-yearly payments reduced to present money? 2. What annu. for life ought to be received, when aged 50, for the money paid, and according to age? 3. Whether the several ages pay in due proportion to each other, for annu. of equal value? and what is the difference? 4. Whether the tables with admission fine are equal to those without admission fine, and what is the difference? 5. What annu. each so. can afford to pay? 6. In what proportion to those who are members, or to the annu, that the cap. stock can afford, must a person now pay to become a member?

It must be admitted that the ground was pretty well covered by these interrogatories. The following is the picture he draws of the founders of his second imaginary so. It is a good deal more than a burlesque upon the real occurrences of the period :

For a specimen of cunning, ignorance, and dishonesty, let the institutors be imagined to reason in this manner:-As we are the founders of this so., it is very reasonable that ourselves should pay but little, if any, towards it; for we will contrive means somehow to make it succeed. And to make it more inviting to such as do not understand figures so well as us, let the nominal value be double its real value; for we can make a deduction out of the annu., each payment, to make it the same thing. If we promise £100 annu., we may deduct £25 every half-yearly payment, and so the real annu. would be but £50; and all those who should not perceive the deception would be fairly taken in. Now as to what sum should be paid for an annu. to commence when aged 50, that nobody, for it is impossible, can tell; but we may guess pretty nearly perhaps, if we consider that whatever we pay now will increase in a few years to a vast prodigious sum indeed! and consider, too, what an amazing number will die in the time and leave whatever they should have paid for our benefit. But the best of the scheme is, that a great number may become poor, and unable to pay their half-yearly dividends. Let all such forfeit what has been paid to our use; for by this 'tis hoped we shall get very great sums indeed. On the whole, if the age 40 pays £3 every half-year till aged 50 to receive £50 annu. for life after that time, surely it will be full sufficient for us, who have been at the trouble of calculating in this manner; and if we immediately raise the payments to double or treble of what we pay, it is but common justice: for those who partake of the benefit of our scheme should pay us handsomely; and let them pay an admission-fine besides, for that will make it better still for us.

The author volunteered his assistance to any so. to which it "should be thought serviceable."

In this year also a 2nd ed. of Dr. Price's Observations, etc., was pub., to which there

66

was a supplement containing "add. obs. concerning the schemes of the sos. for providing annu. for widows, and for persons in old age.' After speaking of a new short and easy method which had occurred to him for trying the sufficiency of such schemes as he had in the previous ed. been speaking of, and giving a specimen of his mode of procedure, showing with what facilities the test might be applied, he remarks as follows:

How melancholy then it is to think of the encouragement that has been given to these sos.? There are now in almost every part of this kingdom some inst. or other of this kind, formed just as fancy has dictated, without any knowledge of the principles on which the values of life annu. and revs. ought to be calculated. I can, however, with pleasure acquaint the public, concerning the two Lond. sos. of which I have taken more particular notice, that, consisting in general of gentlemen of character and sense, they have listened to the information which has been offered them; and in consequence of it, either have already, or prob. will soon, resolve on such amendments of their plans as may render them permanently and effectually the means of the good intended by them.

I wish I could speak with the same satisfaction of the sos. in Lond. for providing for old age. It is true they are likewise endeavouring to reform; but in general, as far as I know anything of them, so feebly and ineffectually as to leave little room to doubt but they will remain what they have hitherto been-DANGEROUS BUBBLES. Some of them in consequence of advancements, since the first pub. of this work, require now from those who apply for admission higher contributions. The truth,

.

however, is that reckoning int. at 34 p.c., their contributions are still in general near a half below what they ought to be. Is it possible then to speak of these asso. with too much severity? Can any benevolent person see them, without concern, going on with schemes that have been demonstrated to be insufficient, and sure to end in confusion and calamity? One so, boasts that it consists of 1100 members; and another that it possesses an income of £8500 p.a. What is this but shamelessly boasting of the extensive mischief they are doing? Some time ago they might have pleaded ignorance; but this is a plea they cannot now make.

There are two sos. which I must except from these censures. The members of the Friendly So., convinced of the insufficiency of their plan, have done themselves great honour by resolving to break up and returning undiminished the money they had taken. The Consolidated So. also requires now the full value at 4 p.c. of the annu. it promises, according to the Lond. Table of obs. When the contributions are advanced a little higher, or to the values of Dr. Halley's Table at 34 p.c. int.; and when besides the first members have consented to make good the deficiencies in their contributions; this So. will, in my opinion, have attained to rectitude and safety. It is proper I should add, in order to prevent mistakes, that the So. for granting annu. " increasing by survivorship," goes on a plan different from any I have considered, and the nature of which implies safety.

In reference to a modified scheme of dealing with some of these multifarious asso.— modified from the stern measure of justice he had in this and the preceding ed. proposed— he says:

Some think that these sos. may provide a proper security for younger members, and for all that shall become annuitants in more remote periods, by preserving untouched all the stock they shall be possessed of at the end of ten years from the time when the payment of annuities shall begin. But this is a great mistake. An inadequate plan must necessarily benefit some by robbing others. For some years after the commencement of the annu. the ann. income of the so. must exceed its disbursements; and all that time the first annuitants will receive, at the expense of all that are to come after them: nor is there a method possible of preventing this injustice. The effect in particular of such a regulation as that now mentioned will only be that a little will be secured to annuitants in later periods, whereas otherwise they might have had nothing. I should be too tedious were I to enter minutely into the explanation of this. The general reason of it is, that by paying too much to the first annu., that accumulation of stock which the calculations suppose (from surplus monies while the annuitants are increasing) would be prevented, and the actual stock, in consequence of this, be rendered so much smaller than it should have been, as to leave but a small provision for the last annu. In short, in such a so. the payments to annuitants would become equal to its income long before their number rose to a maximum; and therefore, if the so. maintained its resolution not to enter into its stock, the annu. would from that period decrease continually, 'till at last they sunk as much lower than they ought to have been, as they were at first higher.

To this ed. there were appended various new tables of mort., but as none of these were accompanied by tables of money values, we need not dwell upon them.

Dr. Price was not an advocate for the employment of Life Annu. in State Finances. In his Essay on Public and the National Debt, included in this vol., he assigns a reason for his objection, which, however, does not exhibit his usual force and clearness :

When any sum is said to be the value of a life annu., the meaning is, that, in consequence of being improved at int. and allowing for the chances of mort., it will bear the whole expense of the annu. If, therefore, instead of being laid up for improvement, it is either immediately applied to particular uses, or has been long since spent, there will be a loss equal to the sum which would have been added to the purchase-money had it been improved. This is the reason of the loss which I have shown the public would suffer by offering life annu. in lieu of stock, in order to extinguish its debts. And for the same reason it must always lose considerably by raising money on life annu.

In 1772 there was also pub. in pamp. form, A Proposal for Estab. Life Annu. in Parishes for the Benefit of the Industrious Poor. This was from the pen of the Baron Maseres. In the following year a Bill was intro. to Parl. with a view to the development of the project; and the Baron then pub. : Considerations on the Bill now pending, etc., for enabling parishes to grant life annu., etc. The same being in fact an appendix to the preceding pamp. We shall review the subject more at length under POOR, INS. FOR THE.

In 1772 life annu. were employed as a means of mitigating a very extended financial disaster. The Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensbury, the Earl of Dumfries, Mr. Douglas (the representative of the ancient Earls of Douglas), and many other gentlemen, chiefly of the West of Scotland, had in 1769 entered into a partnership and subs. a cap. of about £160,000 for carrying on the bus. of banking in Ayr, under the firm of Douglas Heron and Co., with the intention of supporting and encouraging manufactures and agriculture: and the Co. accordingly accommodated manufacturers, land-holders and farmers, with money, with a liberality beyond the cautious prudence of other banks; in consequence of

VOL. I.

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