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AGREEMENT.-A joining together of two or more minds in anything done or to be done. Also the effect of a joint-consent of two or more parties to a contract or bargain.-Law Lex. AGREEMENT TO INS.-In the Canadian Courts in 1859 a case arose in which the agent for the Times and Beacon [English] Co. gave a provisional receipt to the intended insurer, of which the substance was, "the said party to be considered ins. for 21 days from the above date, within which time the determination of the board will be notified. If approved, a pol. will be delivered; otherwise the amount received will be refunded, less the prem. for the time so ins." It was held not to be an absolute ins. for 21 days certain, but that the co. might within that period reject the risk, and give notice, after which their liability would cease."-Digest of Ins. Decisions, 1868.
AGRICULTURAL INS.-Agricultural Ins. in England ranks under three heads.
I. Fire, which we shall treat of fully under FARMING STOCK INS.; 2. CATTLE INS. which we shall speak of under that head; and 3. HAIL-STORM INS. which we shall also speak of under that title.
In France, in 1857, a scheme was propounded to be called the General Bank for Agricultural Assu. It was to be divided into as many branches as there were distinct branches of Ins., viz., against Hail, against Frost, against Floods, against mort. of Animals. Each branch to have separate accounts, and dispose of its own resources. The parent Bank to be empowered by the State. The project was exceedingly well conceived. We can only notice a few of its arguments :
To annul the risks which unceasingly threaten the wealth of nations-to remedy individual injury by collective reparation-to afford by these means an immovable stability to property, and certainty to the proprietors of income-such is the object of assu.; and assuredly the principle of assu. has never given rise to an undertaking more moral, more useful, or more profitable to both public and private interests. Unfortunately, in its application, assu. has, up to the present time, shared much the same fate as the schemes which have been suggested for the redemption of national encumbrances. Simple in detail, admirable in theory, this economical and financial conception has, in practice, arrived at results comparatively insignificant. . . . The value of the wealth exposed to fire, hail, or to frost, to inundations-and as regards animals, to mort.-is estimated at more than 200,000 millions (francs). Now the total sum assu. does not reach the sum of 40 millions. There remains then uninsured property amounting to more than 160,000 millions.
In restricting ourselves to the subject of Agricultural assu. we find results still more deplorable. The enterprises originated against fire and maritime risks have at least broached the subject which has suggested their operations; but agricultural assu. presents us only with unfruitful attempts or notorious ill-success. There is no assu. against frost; there is not any against inundations; and the Cos. which have undertaken ins. against hail, and the mort. of animals, scarcely cover more than 200,000 millions value.
The scheme was submitted by M. Perron to the Minister of Commerce and Agriculture in France, and by him submitted to the consideration of the Council of State; but it was rejected by the Council, the Emperor presiding. Some of its features have since become the subject of joint-stock enterprise. AGRICULTURAL INS. Co.-Another project under this title was reg. in 1859, by Mr. John W. Hutchinson, of Surrey-place, Larkhall-lane. It proposed to carry on Life, Fire, Cattle, and every other description of ins. business! Its aim was greater than its means, and it never matured.
AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS, MORT. OF.-In all nations more or less civilized, the class of men who rank highest in health is that of agricultural labourers. This class is subject to a lower rate of mort., whilst it performs more labour and consumes less of the luxuries of life than any other class. Their superior health is probably due, first, to the higher capacity for labour which they possess and exercise; second, to their spending the greater part of their days in the open air; third, to the lowness of their wages, preventing them from injuring their health by the injudicious use of luxuries and stimulants.-T. R. Edmonds, 1860. [HEALTH.] [SICKNESS.]
AGRICULTURE AND GENERAL LIFE CO., founded in 1840, with an authorized cap. of £250,000. It appears to have struggled on till 1842, when it collapsed, and has since been written down a swindle.
AGRICULTURIST CATTLE INS. Co., founded in 1845, with an authorized cap. of £500,000, in 25,000 shares of £20; subsequently altered into 100,000 shares of £5. The amount of cap. paid up was returned at £76,274. The shares were well subs., and at one time rose to a prem.
The orig. prosp. stated that the Co. was founded for the protection of Farmers and Agriculturists, by ins. against those losses to which they were exposed by disease and accident among their live stock. The first scale of rates was as follows: neat cattle, 24 p.c.; young stock (under 2 years), 2 p,c.; agricultural horses, 24 p.c.; carriage horses, 34 p.c.; stallions, 5 p.c. The Co. paying three-fourths of the value in case of death. The ins. covered death "by sickness, by the slaughter of the animal in consequence of taint from any contagious or incurable disease, or by accident.'
By 1848, in consequence mainly of a reckless system of management, the Co. had got into some difficulties. Mr. E. Ryley was called in to investigate the affairs. It was found that the sums ins. exceeded £2,000,000; and that there were debts actually owing amounting to £75,000. A new board of management was elected, and the rates were increased from 2 to 34 p.c. above those orig. charged; while the allowance in case of loss was reduced from three-fourths to two-thirds the value of the animal dying.
At this point some of the shareholders wished to retire. This they could not do consistently with the D. of Sett. An arrangement was, however, made in Nov. 1848, under resolutions passed at a special meeting of the shareholders specially convened for the purpose, to the effect that a call of £4 per share should be made, and that those shareholders who wished to retire should pay part only of the call, and that their shares should be forfeited for the non-payment of the rest. Under this arrangement-since known as the "Chippenham Compromise"-many of the shareholders did retire. The legality of this proceeding has since been impeached, but is upheld.
The Co. had extended its operations to the Ins. of Lives; but at this juncture its Life policies (very few indeed) were trans. to the Norwich Union L.
The Co. numbered amongst its patrons some of the leading nobility of the three kingdoms. Its income increased, and reached £30,000 p.a. ; but yet it did not gain a sound position. It absorbed the businesses of various local Cattle Ins. Asso. In 1851 it took over the bus. and connexions of the Essex Mut. Cattle, then recently formed; and in the same year another asso. in Lancashire. At a gen. meeting held in Dec. of that year, the directors were authorized to issue 25,000 of the unappropriated shares as preference shares," carrying int. at 5 p.c., payable half yearly. It was said at that date that the Co. had paid £300,000 in losses on its bus. The Co. at this date resumed the bus. of Life Ins., issuing a special prosp., and keeping the affairs apparently distinct. This we give an account of under AGRICULTURIST LIFE. In 1857 the Co. paid a div. of 6 p.c.
By 1861 the Co. found itself unable to pay its debts, and it passed into liq. Mr. L. H. Evans was appointed official manager. His path was beset with difficulties from the commencement. The immediate assets were not sufficient to pay rent and salaries; and the shareholders, with many of whom arrangements had been made for their retirement, subsequent to the arrangement of 1848, refused to acknowledge any liability or pay any debt of the Co. Litigation was therefore inevitable. The first proceedings in the way of litigation brought about an arrangement with the majority of the shareholders.
There were found to be about 1500 creditors, most of them under policies. The conditions of the policies limited their holders to claim upon the funds of the Co. only, and so estab. a species of limited liability. As to bonds upon which money had been raised, and simple contract debts, there was no such limitation; therefore, the latter are to be paid in full, while the policy-holders will only receive a dividend.
On the 11th March, 1863, a call of 20 was made by the official manager-that was the whole amount of the original shares-against which was to be credited all sums previously paid thereon. It was from the proceeds of this call that the policy-holders were alone to look for payment. They have been paid 6s. in the £, and may yet receive another small div. On the 21st Dec. 1866, a further call of £20 per share was made.
Against some of the shareholders who made arrangements of compromise, subsequent to the Chippenham arrangement, proceedings were taken. These have resulted in three appeals, two by shareholders, one by the official manager. By 1868 these were so far decided that the further contributions required from the shareholders could be approximated. The result was a call of £250 per share on the £20 shares, and of £62 10s. on the £5 shares.
In the course of the litigation it has been held-1. That having regard to the publicity and bona fides of the Chippenham arrangement (Nov. 1848), and to the time which had since elapsed, the validity of the retirement of those shareholders who withdrew in pursuance of that arrangement could not be disputed, and that those persons were not liable to be settled on the list of contributories. 2. That those persons who retired afterwards by arrangement with the directors, but without the knowledge of the other shareholders, were to be treated as shareholders still, and were to be placed on the list, although in some cases 12 years had elapsed since their retirement; and this view has been supported on appeal.
There is still some litigation going on, by way of appeal to the House of Lords, and there is one case pending in France, and one in the Australian courts; but practically the affairs are at a close; nor do we think any unnecessary time has been occupied in closing such a complicated business. It may be said that every legal question which can be raised in the winding-up of a Co. has been raised here. Hence it must always be regarded as a "leading case.'
In 1871 another call was made as follows: £280 p. share on the £20 shares, and £70 on the £5 shares. In August of this year it was announced that the bal. of debt and int. due to creditors "other than policy-holders," must be forthwith paid; and then all that will remain to be done will be to adjust the rights of the contributories amongst themselves. AGRICULTURIST LIFE INS. Co.-A Co. under this title was advertised in 1847 as being worked in connexion with the Agriculturist Cattle; but it appears only to have been a branch of the last-named Co. The prosp. said:
The Directors, at the repeated solicitations of the agents, inspectors, shareholders, and a large body of the ins. in this Co., have been induced to add ins. on human lives and the other departments of a life office to their ordinary bus.... The assu. of human life not having yet been very extensively adopted in the agricultural districts, a wide field remains comparatively untrodden for the operations of this Co. To the relative positions of landowner, the farmer, and the numerous class engaged in the
cultivation of the soil, therefore, has the attention of the Directors been especially directed in the arrangement of their plans; and the rates will be found proportionably moderate.
The rates of prem, were not lower than those of other offices using the Carlisle Table. It had this special feature: "Farmers or agriculturists going out to settle in the Australian colonies, the U.S., British North America, or Canada, may be ins. at the common rate of prem." And also this very good regulation, "Proof of the date of birth will be required from a proposer, and will be admitted on the policy." Mr. Wm. Fenton was the manager. The Co. purported to have an Education Fund and Widows' Fund, each to be formed out of profits which were never realized.
AGROUND.-Aground is the situation of a ship whose bottom or any part of it rests upon the ground, so as to render her immovable till a greater quantity of water floats her up, or till she is drawn out into the stream by the application of mechanical powers.Falconer's Mar. Dict.
AGUE (class ZYMOTIC, order Mismatic).—The deaths from this cause in England present some fluctuations, and appear to be on the decrease. In ten consecutive years they have been as follows: 1858, 207; 1859, 233; 1860, 203; 1861, 149; 1862, 150; 1863, 141; 1864, 112; 1865, 117; 1866, 135; 1867, 121; thus presenting a variation of from II per million of the population living in 1858, down to 5 in 1864, and 6 for each of the three years following. Over a period of fifteen years ending 1864, the deaths have been 8 per million. With the more extended drainage of the soil, and improved sanitary regulations, this disease should continue to decrease.
The deaths in 1867 were: males 64, females 57; and they were spread pretty evenly over the different periods of life; the heaviest mortality with males being between 45 and 55. AID LIFE ASSURANCE Asso. LIM., founded in 1870, with an authorized capital of £25,000, in shares of £5. The two principal movers in founding the office appear to have been Mr. G. S. Horsnail, who is appointed Manager, Actuary, and Sec., and Mr. W. Beck, who is appointed Solicitor. These appointments are made under the articles, and the parties cannot be removed, except for dishonesty or negligence, and then only after the same shall have been proved to the satisfaction (?) of two successive general meetings. AIKIN, DR. He kept a register of the mortality of Warrington, Lancashire, for seven years, between 1773 and 1781, from which Dr. Price deduced the Warrington Table of Mortality. AIR, ATMOSPHERIC.-The influence of pure air in the preservation of human health has long been known; while the converse, that impure and unwholesome air produces disease and pestilence, has also long been understood, from the obvious results rather than from any scientific explanation of the why and the wherefore. Science is now beginning to per form its proper functions in the matter. We cannot enter upon details, nor can we pass the subject without some notice.
Pure air in its composition consists of about 77 parts of nitrogen, 21 of oxygen, and 2 of other matters, such as carbonic acid, watery vapour, a trace of ammonia, etc. More recent investigation has led to the discovery of two states of the oxygen of the air—ozone and antozone.
Dr. Prout, in a Bridgewater Treatise, was one of the first who had suggested the possibility of the occasional existence of extremely minute portions of deleterious matters in the air during the prevalence of epidemic disorders; and in reference to this subject, a remarkable observation occurred during the prevalence of the cholera. For more than six weeks previous to the appearance of the cholera in Lond., he had been almost every day engaged in accurately determining the weight of a given quantity of air under precisely the same circumstances of temperature and pressure. On Feb. 9th, 1832, the specific gravity of the air suddenly rose above the usual standard, and it continued so for 6 weeks. the same day the wind, which had been west, veered round to the east, and the first cases of epidemic cholera made their appearance. Professor Tyndal and others have since followed up this line of experiment with wonderful success.
Dr. Smith and Mr. Dancer have recently examined the air of Manchester by the aid of the microscope, and have found it to be full of spores and other organic germs, the presence of which in probably all air leads, no doubt, to the phenomena imputed to spontaneous generation, and is probably the cause of the epidemic character of many diseases. The air was first washed by shaking it in a bottle with distilled water, and in a drop of the water it was reckoned that there were about 250,000 spores, and these only require to be lodged in suitable situations to spring into activity. In the quantity of air respired by a man in ten hours it was reckoned that there would be about 37 millions of these spores or organic germs.
The average rate at which the wind (air in motion) travels in England is 4 (4'125) miles per hour. The highest pace recorded was in 1850, when it was more than 4 miles per hour (4530); the lowest was in 1853, being 3 (3548) per hour. In 1856 it was 4244, nearly 44 miles per hour. 1850 and 1856 were each healthy years; 1853 unhealthy. Here is scope for further investigation.
The reports of the Reg.-Gen very frequently draw attention to the importance of these inquiries. [ATMOSPHERE.] [CLIMATE.]
AIR SHAFT.-A passage through a building for the admission of air. This is an important
feature in a Fire Ins. risk, as such a shaft creates a draft and acts as a conductor of the flames.-Ins. Agent.
AKEN, M. VON.-In 1792 he made various public experiments for extinguishing fires by chemical preparations, and accomplished some very wonderful results. [FIRE ANNIHILATORS.]
ALABAMA, INS. LAWS OF.-By a law of 24th Feb., 1860, Ins. Corp. of other States and foreign countries might estab. agencies in this State, but all such Cos. must have at least 100,000 dols. actual cap.
By authority of revised code of 1867, married women may insure lives of their husbands. Amount payable to wife, free from claims of husband's creditors. If wife dead, then to children.
By general ins. law 31 Dec., 1868, all Cos. doing bus. in this State must deposit 10,000 dols. in bonds of Comptroller of the State. Ann. statements to be made in July. State Cos. to pay I p.c., and those from other states and foreign countries 2 p.c. on all prems. received ann. for public school purposes. Laws of 1860 and 1867 embodied. No distinction as to class of bus., whether Fire, Life, Marine, etc. General provisions relating to Corp. revised code 1867.
ALARM. The earliest intimation of a fire is sometimes called an "Alarm." Technically it is a FIRE CALL, which see.
ALARM BELL.-In many country districts there exists an alarm bell, which is only rung on the occasion of a fire in the parish or neighbourhood. These bells are frequently on the manor house. The custom is a good one.
ALAUZET, ISIDORE, pub. in Paris in 1844 (2 vols.), Traité Général des assurances, assurances maritimes, terrestres, mutuelles, et sur la vie. This production bears marks of profound consideration of the subject, of familiarity with the great authors of the law, and is full of a very bold and at the same time very sagacious criticism. The work is written in the spirit of careful investigation and sound reflection, and will be of both interest and profit to any one, however conversant with the subject.
ALBERT AVERAGE ASSO. for British, Foreign, and Colonial built Ships, founded in Lond. in 1866, on the principle of mutual contribution, and passed into liq. in 1870. Mr. Thomas Kennedy is the Liquidator.
ALBERT INS. Co. (for Fire and Marine Ins.), founded in 1864, with an authorized cap. of £1,000,000, first issue £500,000.
The Co. was promoted by Mr. George Kirby, the then Man. Director of the Albert Life; and about half the board of this Co. was composed of the Directors of that Co.
In its first year it took over the bus. of the Oriental and General Marine, and of the Alexandra Fire. It founded fire branches in Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Dublin, India, Japan, etc., etc.; and also entered upon Marine bus. very freely. Its prem. income for the first year was said to be about £161,000. After this the public were prepared to see some change; and in 1866 the bus. was trans. to and united with that of the Western Fire. Mr. Morell Theobald was the Manager of the Fire Department. ALBERT LIFE Assu. Co. founded in 1838, under the title of the Freemasons and General Life Assu. Loan, Ann. and Rev. Int. Co., with an authorized cap. of £500,000, in 25,000 shares of £20, of which £3 per share became paid up. In Dec. 1849 the name was changed to the Albert Life Assu. Co.
Upon the formation of the Co. it was stipulated by the deed that the shareholders should receive 5 p. c. int., and that the whole of the profits upon the pol. not entitled to a share of the profits should be divided amongst the shareholders, and the profits upon the pol. issued on the parti. scale should be apportioned between the holders of such pol. But it was found impracticable to continue this principle of division after the amalg. of other Cos., and from the 1st January, 1862, the profit was divided in fixed proportions, namely, 80 p.c. to the policy-holders, and 20 p.c. to the shareholders.
The Deed of Set. was most ably drawn, and was especially guarded and strong in limiting the liability of the shareholders to the amount of cap. actually subs. The advantages of which precautions have appeared in a very marked degree in the later hist. of the Co.
The Co. appears to have transacted a very steady bus. during the first ten years of its existence. In 1849 it took over the bus. of the Preceptors and General Life, a very small affair estab. in the preceding year. In 1856 it took over the Beacon Life, which had been founded three years previously. In 1867 it took over (1) National Guardian Life, founded 1851 (which had in 1855 taken over Official and General); (2) London and County Life, founded 1851 (which had in 1854 taken over the Oak Mut.); (3) Times Life and Guar. (which had in 1850 taken over the bus. of Independent). It may be said that it was in this year (1857) the Co. entered upon that wild career of amalg. which ultimately destroyed it. In 1858 it took over the bus. of the Bank of Lond. and National Provincial, founded 1851 (which had in 1856 taken over the Falcon and the Durham and Northum. berland; in 1857 the Anchor; and in 1858 the Merchants' and Tradesmen's). In 1860 it took over the Medical, Invalid, and General, founded 1841 (which had in 1853 taken over the New Oriental, of Calcutta, and also the Agra). In 1861 it took over the Family Endowment, founded 1835 (which had in 1857 absorbed the Empire, No. 2). In 1862 it
took over the Kent Mut., founded 1851 (which had in 1857 absorbed the English Provident). In 1862 it took over (1) the Western Life, founded 1842 (which had absorbed (1) Manchester and Lond. (2) Metropolitan Counties, which had previously (1861) absorbed the St. George, which last had absorbed in 1859 the London and Continental); (2) The Indian Laudable.
Thus by the end of 1865 we find a total of no less than 26 absorbed offices-making with its own bus. 27 offices rolled into one-or rather seeming to be so. In the course of these arrangements the Co. itself several times assumed a change of name, as in 1857, Albert and Times; in 1860, Albert and Medical; in 1861, Albert, Medical, and Family Endowment. None of these changes were legally authorized, and in 1863 the Co. resumed its title of the Albert Life Assu. Co., and continued it to the end.
The share cap. of the Co. was not much affected by these amalg., except that it became all placed; and while £3 p.s. was the sum nominally called, upon some of the shares issued in connexion with those arrangements a much larger sum was credited as paid.
On the occasion of the taking over the bus. of the Medical Invalid, in 1860, which Co. had a large connexion in India, the Albert commenced very active operations there, under the direction of Mr. W. F. Fergusson, who had been the manager of the New Oriental, and Mr. P. M. Tate, who had been the Indian manager of the Medical. In 1861 the Indian bus. of the Family Endowment was added; and in 1865, the bus. of the Indian Laudable. Hence the Co. had obtained such a position as no British Co. ever had, or prob. ever will obtain there. The profits of that branch were estimated at from £20,000 to £30,000 p. a. The head office was in Calcutta, and there were branches in Bombay and Madras. There were also agencies in China, and in many parts
of the East.
The income after these various amalg. reached something like £330,000 p.a. ; but still there was an uneasiness and distrust regarding the position of the Co., well-informed ins. men discovered lurking amidst these large figures elements of danger. The public also began to suspect danger. The sum paid for "surrender of policies," which in 1866 was L10,631 (about the same as it had been in the two preceding years), in 1867 rose to 17,453 5s. 2d.; and in 1868 reached £19,296 35. id. In 1869 the Directors left off paying surrender values. It was feared the end was at hand. On the 13th August (a day or two after closing the Courts for the long vacation), an application was made to the vacation judge in Chancery to appoint provisional liquidators. Thus the Co. stopped with liabilities estimated at nearly £4,000,000; and an estimated deficiency of one million!
Mr. Geo. Goldsmith Kirby, the founder and manager of the Co., died in April, 1868; his son succeeded him. It is probable that had the father survived, the fate of the office might have been modified. He knew and understood all the ramifications of the Co. The son was strange to the bus. and its complications; but all who know him know that he did his best to avert, and has since done his best to mitigate, the severity of the calamity. As there has been some misapprehension as to the senior Mr. Kirby's financial relations with the Co., we furnish the following details from official sources :
Mr. Kirby was the original projector of the Co., and the terms of his engagement, as stated in the Deed of Settlement, were that he should be appointed for life managing director; that he should receive the annual sum of £400, and also 5 p.c. upon all prems. received; that he should be permitted to occupy as a private residence, and also as offices for his private bus., rent free, the premises in Waterloo-place not required by the Co.; that he should be allowed to carry on his professional bus. on his own account, and have the conduct of the legal bus. of the Co., for which he was to be allowed the usual professional charges. When the amalg, with the Medical Invalid and General Office was effected in 1860, it was arranged that Mr. Kirby should take one-half p.c. only upon its prems., and allow a yearly reduction from his total commissions of £500.
From the 1st January, 1864, to 31st December, 1867, Mr. Kirby's account had been credited with one moiety of the 5 p.c. commission, of which £6188 11s. 3d. remained unpaid, and he was entitled to the other moiety amounting to about £18,000. On the 4th December, 1867, the following arrangement was made-viz., that in lieu of the above £18,000, Mr. Kirby should accept £15,000, payable by six half-yearly payments, with 5 p.c. interest, the first instalment to be paid on the 1st January, 1868, and that subsequently to the 31st December, 1867, Mr. Kirby was not to be entitled in any one year to more than £3100 in respect of commission. In default of payment of any of the above instalments and interest for 30 days after due date, Mr. Kirby's original rights to revive, and the agreement was not to prejudice his right to the balance of the moiety which he had not received. On account of the £15,000 and interest, two instalments, of together £5312 10s., have been paid, the latter in July, 1868, since which nothing has been paid. On Mr. Kirby's death the commission arrangement terminated.
Immediately on the collapse of the Co., a very searching investigation was made into its affairs. We can only briefly notice the main results elicited. On a valuation of assets and liabilities, as from 31st Dec., 1854, a bal. of 653,314 remained in favour of the Co. Another valuation to 31st Dec., 1858, showed a profit realized of £27,808. Another valuation to 31st Dec., 1861, showed a profit of £33,650. An investigation at the end of 1866 showed a loss of £281,702. That was a net prem. valuation; the others had been on the gross prems. The loss was attributed to the amalg., and the following detailed account has since been made up, one or two of the smaller offices being omitted: