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several of their friends, by whom they have been encouraged to make this publication. The certainty of the scheme is demonstrably evident, promising no advantage to itself from any precarious methods of gain, and must consequently be secure to subs., nor can it (as is presum'd) receive any disadvantage from the reputation of the proposers. To prove that 40 p.c. is not rashly offer'd by the proposers, or without due consideration, tables are calculated to prove the scheme by the gradual increase and decrease of the annuitants, which being too long to be inserted, may be perused by the curious who will give themselves the time and trouble to examine them.

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We, who write more than a century and a half after these proposals were framed and issued, are among the curious referred to, and have even at this remote period taken the pains to find, and given ourselves the time and trouble to examine them. We shall pro

ceed to give the reader the benefit of the result; but before doing so, we must add the following note to the observations above quoted:

It was intended to have given 50 p.c., the design having been above a year in agitation, but the Parl. having since thought it necessary to reduce the rate of int., 40 p.c. is found to be as much as can reasonably be allowed.

Then there is added:

These proposals may be had gratis at the dwelling-house of the proposers, being four doors above the Rose Tavern, in Cursitor's-alley, fronting Castle-yard, at the White Balconey; where attendance is daily giv'n to take in subs. between the hours of 9 & 12 and 3 & 6, except on Sundays and holidays. We are now ready for an abbreviated outline of the actual scheme :

1. That any number of persons, either single or married, in seeming good and perfect health, will be admitted to subs. and pay to the proposers, certain sums of money on their own or the lives of others, at such times, and by such payments as are hereafter mentioned, for the benefit and use of their widows, or other their nominees who shall survive them.

2. That any married man in seeming good and perfect health above the age of 20, and not exceeding 30 years of age, shall, and may have liberty to subs., and pay the sum of one, two, three, four, or five hundred pounds on his own life, for the use of his wife if she should happen to survive him, or to the use of any other his nominee or nominees during the natural life of his said widow.

3. Any married man over 30, and not exceeding 40, in good and perfect health as aforesaid, might subscribe from £100 up to £400 for the like purposes.

4. Any married man between 40 and 50 might subs. up to £300.

5. Above 50 and not exceeding 60, up to £200.

6. That no person shall or will be admitted to subs. for the benefit or use of their widows or any other person or persons, he, she, or they, being above 20 years younger than themselves; nor will any person be admitted to subs. on the life of his wife, or the life of any other person for their own benefit, if the life so subs. on be above 20 years older than the person to receive benefit therefrom.

7. That any marry'd man may subs. and pay on the life of his wife of any of the ages before mention'd, the sums before nam'd, she being in seeming good health, for the sole use of himself, during his natural life if he should happen to survive her.

8. That any marry'd woman may subscribe, and pay on the life of her husband, of any of the ages before nam'd, he being in seeming good and perfect health, for the sole use of herself, during her natural life, if she should happen to survive him.

9. That any other persons, either marry'd or single, may subs., and pay any of the sums before nam'd, on the life of any person in seeming good and perfect health, and not above 20 years older than themselves, for their own use and benefit, during their natural lives, if they should happen to survive the life subscrib'd on.

10. That the subs, shall be oblig'd to pay no more than £6 5s. p.c. p.a. of the moneys so subscrib'd, and that for no more than one year, unless they think fit to continue it yearly, 'till the whole sum subscrib'd is paid in; viz., 16 years, if the person's life ins. on should so long continue.

11. That when the sum of £50,000 is subs., that is to say the yearly payments of £3125, the subs. shall be summon'd within six days, to choose and appoint trustees.

12. That within six days after appointment of such trustees, notice should be given to subs. to pay the first payment of £6 55. to such goldsmith or banker as the said trustees shall approve of. The proposers would then settle a freehold estate of the full value of two-thirds of the moneys so paid in upon the said trustees.

13. That in regard the number of subs. is not limited, the proposers would further settle for every add. sum of £3125 paid in a freehold estate of two-thirds the value.

14. That as soon as such security shall be giv'n, and lands so settl'd, the remaining third part of all monies so paid in shall be vested in the hands of the proposers, to be by them made use of to the best advantage, and to be improv'd by such methods that the same may always be ready to pay the annu. on demand, or to purchase them of such annuitants, who shall think fit to dispose thereof, as after provided. The accounts always open to inspection of subscribers.

15. That the aforesaid things being done, the proposers would give their bonds to pay to the widows or other nominees, after the death of the subscriber, an annu. of 40 p.c. p.a. during their natural lives, according to the following

TABLE-Which shows at sight the charge of each subscriber, and the profit their widows or other surviving nominces will receive in proportion to the number of years which they think fit to continue their payments. £ s.

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16. Every person at time of making proposal to express names and ages of their wives, or other nominees.

17. That no soldier that goes to the wars, marine, or sea-faring man, shall be admitted to subs., or pay any money to these proposers, tho' they will not refuse any person that shall, or may, have occasion to travel thorou Ĝt. Britain, France, or Ireland, or any of the coasts thereof, provided they do not settle their habitations there, that then they will be admitted, and their widows, or nominees be justly paid their annuities.

18. Widows or nominees to give notice of the death of the subscriber within one month, and produce certificate signed by the minister, parish clerk, or churchwardens of the parish where deceased dy'd or was bury'd.

19. That if any person whose life is subscrib'd on shall voluntarily make away his or herself, or by any act of theirs occasion their own death, or by duelling or committing any crime whereby they may be put to death by the laws of the land, that then, and in either of the said cases, their widows or other their nominees shall receive no annuity, but their subscription money shall be repaid them, on delivering up the proposer's bond to be made void and cancell'd.

20. The first payment of annuity to be made on the next feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or of St. Michael the Arch-angel, which shall first happen after the decease of the person whose life was subscrib'd on, and due notice thereof giv'n to the proposers, after the rate of 40 p.c. p.a. for all money they shall have paid, and will continue to be so paid half-yearly, during their natural lives, without charge or deduction.

21. If any persons discontinued or neglected to pay their subscriptions in the month of June in every year, such persons should not be admitted to pay the same afterwards on that life, but should only receive their annu. for so much as they had paid in after the rate of 40 p.c.

22. The subs. to give a bond to deliver up the proposers' security for the annu. within one month after

death of annuitant.

23. If annuitants could not attend to receive their annu., certificate must be sent, signed by minister and parish clerks or churchwardens, that the annuitant was living, and where.

24. Notice to be given of change of abode of annuitants.

25. The proposers thereby obliged themselves, their heirs, and assigns, for the first five years, in case the person or persons entitl'd to receive these annu, were in seeming sound and perfect health, to purchase the same if requir'd, paying therefor after the rate of 6 years' purchase, provided they are willing to dispose thereof the first year, and to discount what previous half-yearly payments they shall have receiv'd.

26. The subs. to be entitled to new bonds from the proposers for each yearly subscription paid. 27. Every subscriber at the time of making his subs. to pay is. in the £, that is to say 6s. for every £6 5s. to be paid by them on the first call, and so on annually during their subscriptions, the like sum of os. for the sole use and benefit of the proposers.

The following are some explanations of the scheme which seem important. Thus (without abbreviation)

The following scheme is calculated on a supposition of the death of one person in ten every year, and only for 500 persons, and in the first year's payment; nevertheless, there will remain at the end of 24 years the sum of £1786 16s. od., and the annuitants will then be reduced to 35 persons, who will decrease gradually till all are paid off.

It was thought advisable to allow the death of one in ten every year, though it is presum'd 'twill never happen, there being always allow'd by Sir Wm. Petty, and the ingenious Dr. Halley, but one in 30 or 40.

However, 'Twill be more excusable to err in the allowance of a greater number of deaths than the contrary, because most calculations of this nature have hitherto been too favourable to the projectors, and these proposers are more desirous to ascertain the security of the subs. than their own profit. Most virtuous, most noble, and most foolish proposers! Then here follows what they term the SCHEME:

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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 81, 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, 334 should have dy'd every year, which multiply'd by 25 years, makes 8437 dead. Subtract the nom. sup. in March last, dead 294. The difference of these two numbers is, 549 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 £1, 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 dis. proportion!

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: Total 342... Dead 90 ... Alive 252 187 63

124

Nominees of 6 years of age and under Nominees from 16 to 35 years of age The first dy'd 264 in the hundred, and the second 333. 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.

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

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