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pletely and effectually caught in the trap he had set for the Co. and was obliged to abandon the suit. Mr. John Wilks, jun., son of the John Wilks of political notoriety, was the Sol. of the Co.
The Co. carried on business down to 1848, when its affairs were placed in order for winding up. Mr. James Mitchell, LL. D. was Sec. of the Co.
BRITISH APOLLO MARRIAGE INS. OFFICE, "Bolt-court, Fleet-street," founded in 1710, for securing marriage portions, etc. There appears to have been another office of the same name, situate near the Horn, Bread-street, Radcliffe, founded in the same year, and for the same class of business. Each is spoken of in our hist. of MARRIAGE INS. BRITISH Assu. Co.-This Co. was founded in 1847, under the title of the Architects, Civil Engineers, Builders, and General F. and L. Ins., Annu., and Rev. Int. Co. In 1850 its name was changed by authority of a special Act of Parl., 13 & 14 Vict. c. x.— An Act to change the name of, etc., and for other purposes relating to the Co. This Act received the Royal assent 17th May, 1850; but the Co. was not to be released from the provisions of the Joint-Stock Cos. Regis. Act. We have already given some account of it under its orig. name. Its return of F. duty in 1848 was £1029. In 1851 it was £2666. About £350,000 of the cap. was subs. The F. bus. was not attended with success; and the L. bus. was small. In 1852, or early in 1853, the connexions of the Co. were trans. to the Lancashire. The acceptance of lives in impaired health was a feature of the L. department. In the F. department ins. were granted for loss occasioned by "buildings being rendered untenantable by fire."
BRITISH ASSU. So.-An asso. under this title was founded early in the present century. Its office was in Aldersgate-street, but its general features were rather those of a benefit so. than an ins. office.
BRITISH, AUSTRALIAN, AND GENERAL MARINE, LIfe, and Fire AssU. AND LOAN SO., founded in 1840, with an authorized cap. of £1,000,000, in 50,000 shares of £20. The prosp. says:
It is proposed, then, to unite the branches of Marine, L., and F. assu., etc., and other business usually undertaken under any of the above departments; and its object has reference to Australia as well as Gt. Brit.; an office being intended to be estab. in Sydney upon quite as important a scale as the head office of the So. in Lond., and to be governed by its separate board of directors..
With regard to the Marine department, it is only necessary to call attention to the fact that our Australian possessions are rapidly increasing in importance, and their agents are daily spreading all over the globe; large consignments are made, not to England only, but to China, the East Indies, and other parts; and a very considerable part of such exports are entirely at the risk of the merchant, owing to the excessive prems. hitherto demanded by existing cos.
The Fire assu. will be confined exclusively to Australia.
... The rates of prem. charged are understood to be 5s. 6d., 75. 6d., and 12s. 6d., which are considerably higher than the charges to which competition has reduced them in this country.
Moreover, another great and decided advantage which this Co. will have over others, will be in the investment of a portion of its surplus funds in Australian securities; and as a highly profitable and sure investment of cap., even this feature alone would recommend the shares to the public, seeing that on landed property of daily increasing value, the usual rate of int. on the best mortgage in Australia is 12 p.c., which in this country scarce obtains 4.
A portion of the shares will be reserved for allotment in Australia. ... Pol. will be granted as low as £20.... A charter will be applied for as soon as the So. shall be firmly estab. . . .
This was the programme of operations laid down. We do not discover, as a matter of fact, that the co. ever did commence bus. ; although we find it stated in the prosp. :"The arrangements being sufficiently advanced, the directors beg to announce that they propose commencing bus. on 10th March next." Mr. John Cobon was announced as Sec. BRITISH COLONIAL, BANK, AND LOAN.-This scheme, which had intentions to graft on the bus. of L. ins., was projected in 1845, but died at that stage.
BRITISH COLONIAL INS. CO., founded in 1838, and in 1842 it ceased to carry on bus. We have not been able to meet with any accurate details concerning it.
BRITISH COLONIAL AND FOREIGN LIFE ASsu. Co.-This Co. was promoted in March, 1852, by Mr. William Carpenter, a literary gentleman, who wrote some pamphlets on ins. topics. In the month of May, same year, the directors regis. their withdrawal from the project. See ENGLISH AND COLONIAL.
BRITISH AND COLONIAL INDISPUTABLE.—This Co. was projected by a Manchester gentleman in 1852, but made no progress.
BRITISH AND COLONIAL LIFE AND INVESTMENT Co., projected in Lond. in 1864, with a proposed cap. of £250,000. Mr. Thomas Withcomb was the first regis. promoter. We do not discover that the enterprise made further progress.
BRITISH AND COLONIAL PROVIDENT LIFE ASSO., ANNUITY, ENDOWMENT, AND FREEHOLD INVESTMENT Co.-This Asso. was projected in 1845, but did not survive the honours of prov. regis.
BRITISH AND COLONIAL TRUST AND ASSU. Co.-A Co. under this title was projected in Lond. in 1846. Its proposed cap. was £500,000, in 10,000 shares of £50. The advertised patron was His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex; among the trustees were the Earl of Thanet, the Earl of Lovelace, Lord Vaux, Lord Lovat, and 5 others. The Chairman was W. Hutt, M. P., afterwards President of the Board of Trade; among the directors was Rowland Hill, and many other well-known names. The Auditor and Consulting Act. was Augustus De Morgan; while the Act. and Sec. was Alexander Jamieson, LL.D. The prosp. said:
This Co. intends, for the first time in this country, to combine with the bus. of L. assu. in all its branches, that of the Administration of Trusts. Trust cos. prevail extensively through the U.S., and have been found productive of the greatest advantages. The object is to substitute a public body for individuals in the execution of trusts. . . That which is a man's business is generally well and diligently done. At present the execution of a trust is not regarded as a bus., and is consequently too often performed in a slovenly and imperfect manner. All these hazards and inconveniences are obviated by resting the trust in a public body.
Into the ins. department every improvement will be introduced which is suggested by equity, and has received the sanction of experience; the intention being to multiply the inducements to ins. by dispensing with restrictive conditions, or clauses of forfeiture unnecessarily severe, and by offering increased facilities in the effecting and realizing of pol. It is also proposed to extend the principle and benefits of L. assu. by affording the means of providing against other contingencies besides that of the death of the assured, by placing at his disposal a fund, which may be available on any emergency or for any purpose - such as the portioning or advancement of children-the extension of bus.-temporary sickness and the like. With this view it is intended to grant deferred annu. on strictly equitable terms, and to regard the aggregate payments, whether upon a life pol., or for the purchase of a deferred annu., as a fund standing to the credit of the pol.-holder, which may at any time be converted into a fair equivalent in some other shape, or be made available as a cash credit account for a reasonable advance from the Co.
Then the following regulations regarding foreign travel were in advance of those usual at that period:
Pol. will not necessarily be forfeited by passing beyond the seas; but such regulations will be adopted as may reconcile the protection due to the Co., with a fair consideration of the interests of the assu. The usual trips either to the adjacent islands or to the continent of Europe will not be considered as varying the ordinary risk . . . ; but if the party whose life is ins. shall depart beyond the limits so prescribed, or go from the U.K. to any country which is the theatre of war or civil tumult, or in which any pestilential disorder shall be then prevailing, the pol. will be forfeited, unless before the day of the next periodical payment, or the death of the party assured, if it should first happen, notice shall have been given to the office of such departure or visit, and the add. prem. required for such extra risk duly paid.
We do not find that this Co., with all its influential names and novel features, ever got really to work. We have been informed that a Co. of the same name was founded in 1838, and died out in 1849; but we find no trace of it.
BRITISH COMMERCIAL INS. Co., for the protection of trade, founded in 1820, with an authorized cap. of £1,000,000, in 20,000 shares of £50. The objects embraced in the orig. "proposal were: The ins. merchants, manufacturers, and tradesmen, for losses by the bankruptcy or insolvency of their debtors. Also for ins. on lives; for the sale and purchase of annu.; the receiving of investments in order to a trading cap. ; the endowment of children; the redemption of mortgage; and the estab. of a widows' and orphans' fund, solely for the relief of the indigent families of those who shall have been proprietors, assurants, annuitants, or investors in the funds of the Co. Under the head of Ins. against Losses in Trade, the prosp. said:
The first object of the Co. being to provide a remedy against the present depression of domestic trading of the country, by the revival of credit; it may be necessary to state that the calculations of the Co. have been made from positive authorities, and upon the broadest basis of inquiry. They have been made with the certainty of a fair and honourable profit to the Co., which consideration cannot fail to operate in gaining the confidence of the insurer, for it is only in the profits of the Co. that the security of the public can be maintained.
Pol. may be effected with the Co. by merchants, manufacturers, and traders, to ins. against losses in trade by the bankruptcy or insolvency of their debtors, by ann. prem. on the average amount of their running credits, or by ins. on life. The rates of ins. may be referred to in the proposals of the Co., distinguishing the several risks of credit, in common ins., hazardous, and doubly hazardous
These rates will be given under head of COMMERCIAL CREDIT INS. Deposits were required to be made by intending life insurers: 5s. on £100 proposal; 10s. between 100 and up to £500; and I between £500 and £1000. If proposer declined to complete, deposit to be forfeited; if Co. declined to accept, to be returned. The distinctive feature of the L. branch was that very low rates of prem. were charged, there being no profit or bonus scale: Whole life rates, age 15, L1 9s. 20, £1 155.; 25, £2; 30, £2 ̊5s. ;. 35, £2 11s. ; 40, £3; 45, £3 10s. ; 50, £4 6s.; 60, £6 7s. 4d.; 67, £8 12s. Id.
In the Deposit department tables were given showing the amounts to be withdrawn at given periods by deposit of 2s. 6d. weekly; £2 11s. quarterly; or £100 paid down. [DEPOSIT INS.]
The Co. had a Fire branch. It returned in Gov. duty, in 1824, £2985. In the following year this branch of its bus. was trans. to the Protector F. The cap. appears then to have been reduced to £600,000, of which £90,000 was paid up.
In 1832, by 2 & 3 Wm. IV. c. xxxviii., the Co. was enabled to sue or be sued in the name of one of the Directors or Sec. Its bus. at that date appears to have been confined to life, annu., and endow. for children; and it then granted parti. life pol. Diseased lives were ins. at special rates.
In 1847 the above Act was repealed, and other provisions made, by 10 & 11 Vict. c. lxxxiv. The Co. might thereafter be sued in the name of one its Directors, or the Sec. for the time being.
In 1850 the Co. issued 371 new pol., the new prems. thereon being £6592. The claims paid amounted to £31,893. The prems. received on these same pol. had been £30,655. The profit by lapsed pol. was estimated at £13,600. The assets of the Co. were stated to amount to £249,711, exclusive of £510,000 of subs. cap
In 1854 the Co. made a deposit of $100,000 in the State of N. Y. and commenced to transact bus. there. Mr. Geo. M. Knevitt was the agent.
In 1860 the Co. was amal. with the Brit. Nation. In 1865 the last-named Co. amal. with the European. In 1871 the European passed into liq. We observe that there is now [June, 1872] before the Court of Chancery a petition for winding up the Brit. Commercial.
Mr. Ebenezer Ferine had been Man. -Director of the Co. for many years, and remained so up to the date of amalg.
BRITISH COMMERCIAL INS. [No. 2], founded at Plymouth in 1872, with a proposed cap. of £5,000,000, in 500,000 shares of 10, for the purpose of carrying on the bus. of accident, fire, and marine ins. The founder of the Co. is the Chevalier Harry Clench, who subs. for 3000 shares, giving him a stake of £30,000 in the enterprise. Two of the other promoters, Mr. W. E. Hicks, and Col. E. C. Warner, subs. for 1000 shares each. Mr. Clench to pay all expenses of formation of the Co., and to be entitled to 1 25. p.c. on nominal cap., or in all, £55,000. The directors are each to receive 100 fully paid-up shares as part of their first year's remuneration.
BRITISH AND CONTINENTAL GUARANTEE AND INDISPUTable Life POLICY Co., projected in 1852, but never got beyond prov. regis. BRITISH EMPIRE LIFE ASSU. Co. [No. 1] founded in 1839, with an authorized cap. of The head office was at Whitehall, with a branch in 500,000, in 20,000 shares of £25. the City. The Board of Direction included many influential names; and the various office bearers were men of position. The full title of the Co. appears to have been : The Brit. Empire Assu. Co. for granting Assu., Loans, immediate and deferred Annu. for the purchase of Annu. and Rev. Interest, and Assu. of Pensions to officers in the service of Her Majesty and the Hon. East India Co. The orig. prosp. said:
Naval and military officers and others may assure with this office upon a general rate of prem., which shall cover risks of all climates and actual warfare-an advantage never before offered by any assu. office; and facilities will also be given to military men, who effect life assu. with this Co., for advancing their interests in the army.
The directors also, from possessing accurate data of the mort. of Europeans who have resided in India from 1760 to the present time, have had rates of prems. computed for the true risk of life at each of the presidencies, and which will be found more moderate than any yet offered to the public for the purpose of effecting life assu.
The Co. will grant pensions and annu. immediate, deferred, or survivorship; thus affording to civilians, officers of the army and navy, and the Hon. East India Co.'s service, an opportunity of securing a provision for themselves at a given period, or at their decease, to their widows, families, or relatives; which pensions will be found of the most liberal character, consistent with the perfect security of the Co.'s funds.
Half-credit pol. were issued to lives not exceeding 55. The period of credit extended to 7 years, int. at 5 p. c. being paid in advance. Lieut.-Col. Henry Dundas Campbell was Resident Director; Mr. Alexander Jamieson, LL.D., was Act.
About 1843 the Co. underwent some re-organization. Mr. Geo. Bicknell became Man. Director, and Mr. Sydney Crocker became Sec. Among the "advantages" then offered was the following, which we regard as an ingenious expedient for replenishing a failing exchequer :
Assurers, who may wish to release themselves from the trouble and anxiety of ann. payments, and from the danger by neglect of lapsing the pol., may deposit any principal sum with the Co. at an int. of £4 p.c., on condition that the int. be applied in the payment of the prem. for such sum as it will assu., according to the age of the party. Thus, a person, aged 26, wishing to assu. £1000, by depositing £500 will be entitled to the int. of £20, which sum, at £2 p.c. (the prem. at 26), will assu. the required amount. The deposits may be withdrawn at any time, on giving 6 months' notice, and the parties will be free, as in ordinary assu., to discontinue their pol. if they think proper.
In 1845 the bus. of the Co. was trans. to the Licensed Victuallers, afterwards Monarch. The fire duty BRITISH EMPIRE MUTUAL FIRE ASSU. So., founded in 1848, on the Mutual principle; and was worked in connexion with the British Empire Mut. Life.
return progressed as follows: 1848, £624; 1850, £2095; 1855, £6272. Mr. W. S. Gover was Sec. In 1857 the bus. was trans. to the General. BRITISH EMPIRE MUT. LIFE Assu. Co. [called for distinction, Brit. Empire No. 2], founded in 1847, on the purely Mutual principle, without any subs. cap. ; but there was authority to raise by way of loan for the purposes of the Co. (if required) the sum of £20,000. No portion of such sum has been required. The objects of the Co. were (1) Life Ins. in all its branches, (2) Loans, (3) Fidelity guarantee. We believe this last We shall speak of it branch of bus. has never been carried on by the Co. Being constituted on the purely mut. plan, the asso. should have been termed a so. and not a co. as a so., except when we quote official documents.
By the Deed of Sett. dated 26 Jan., 1847, the participating pol.-holders for the time being were to constitute the So. Claims on the So. were to be paid 2 months after proof, with a proviso that "whenever a sudden increase of deaths shall happen from any cause, it shall be lawful for the Co. to defer, so long as circumstances may render it necessary or expedient, the payment of any proportion not exceeding in the whole 3 equal Each pol. to con4th parts of the whole sum which under any assu. made by the Co. may become payable upon any death." The sum deferred to bear interest at 3 p. c. p.a. tain a provision exempting the directors signing it from any personal liability.
distribution of profits in 1852, and afterwards triennially. The Directors are not to make, accept, or indorse notes or bills. The Deed is carefully and considerately drawn.
We believe the So. owed its origin to the late Mr. Watson, who was for many years Chairman of the "Sunday School Union."
In Nov. 1851, an extraordinary general meeting was held, with a view of modifying several points in the constitution of the So. It was necessary, under the Joint-Stock Cos. Regis. Act., 7 & 8 Vict. c. 110, under which the So. was constituted, that the names and addresses of all the members, i.e. of all the parti. pol.-holders, should be regis. every halfyear, the cost of which was then about £100 for each return, and would increase as the So. increased. Then the deed provided that 50 p. c. of the profits should be retained for a certain period to constitute a reserve fund. It was proposed to modify this by setting aside 10 p. c. of the profits for a time, and afterwards 5 p.c. This would enable the So. in due course to comply with the bonus regulations of the deed. The changes were resolved upon.
In 1852 the So. obtained a special Act of Parl., 15 & 16 Vict., c. liii.-An Act for the better regulation of the Brit. Embire Mut. Life Assu. Co., for enabling the said Co. to take and hold property; and for other purposes relating to the said Co. The Act provided that the So. should remain subject to the provisions of the Joint-Stock Cos. Regis. Act, except as to the returns to be made to Joint-Stock Cos. office. The Act also provides that a "regis. of members" shall be kept, "with an alphabetical index thereto, and in such book shall be fairly and distinctly entered from time to time the names of the several corporations, and the names and addresses of the several persons who are members of the Co." The same to be authenticated from time to time by the common seal. Every member and other interested person may search this register.
This So. has been regis. under the Cos. Act, 1862, in conformity with the 209th sec. of that measure, which does not require any co. completely regis. under the 7 & 8 Vict. c. 110, to deliver to the Regis. any copy of its deed. The 13th sec. of Life Assu. Cos. Act, 1870, provides that every co. which is not regis. under Čos. Act, 1862, shall cause its deed to be printed, and furnish a copy to any share or policy holder for a sum not exceeding 2s. 6d. By reason of this state of things, this Co. (in common with any other so placed) is not called upon to print and supply its deed. The So. does not take any technical advantage of this bungle in the Act of 1870, although it is fairly entitled to stand upon its exemptions.
During the "ins. controversy" in 1852-3, this Co. sustained some very unjust treatment, in having its necessarily heavy expenses of foundation heralded forth to the world as an almost certain sign of impending insolvency. The So. need not be ashamed to have the figures of that period reproduced. During the four years ending with 1850, the So. had received in prems. £33,348, and had paid in claims £1670, being 5 p.c. of the receipts; while its entire expenses amounted to 14,466-being 52 p.c. of its entire receipts; total expenditure 57 p.c. of prems. By means of this expenditure the So. had secured a well-selected bus.; and its subsequent financial hist. has been increasingly satisfactory.
In 1854 a secession occurred in the ranks of the So. Mr. W. S. Gover, who had been its Sec. from the commencement to that date, retired to found another office; one of its directors also retired. But by this period the So. had become firmly estab.; and the change did not affect its success.
In its early years the So. charged a reduced rate of prem. for the ins. of female lives. This practice has now been for some years discontinued. [FEMALE LIFE.] We shall speak further hereon under BRIT. EMPIRE MUT., MORT. EXPERIENCE OF. The So. ins. "doubtful lives." [DISEASED LIVES.] It also grants BUILDING SO. INSURANCES. The So. is under sound and careful management, and continues to prosper. The report for the year 1871 discloses the following figures: New proposals accepted during the year 830, ins. £234,547; new prems. thereon, £7363. Total income of year, £103,792; claims (including bonuses), £52, 348. Total claims paid from commencement of So., 473,856. Total profits distributed, £242,156. The accumulated funds, £488,310. The following are the leading land-marks in the progress of the So. : Income £10,265. Acumulated fund
1849 1856 1863 1871
£51,389. £74,660. £103,792.
£6,199. £110,000. £274,681. £488, 310.
The present Sec. is Mr. A. L. Saul; Act. and Accountant, Mr. Josiah Martin. Much of the success of the So. in the provinces is due to the indefatigable exertions of the Agency Superintendent, Mr. M. B. Sutton.
BRITISH EMPIRE MUT., MORT. EXPERIENCE OF.-In 1865 there was pub. A Contribution to the Medical Statistics of Life Assu., with Hints on the Selection of Lives, by John Mann, M.R.C.S., "Examining Surgeon in the Brit. Empire Mut. Life Assu. Co." The author says:-"From the commencement of the B. E. Life Assu. Co., I have wished to gather the materials for such a report of its first 10 years, which is now accomplished." The author does not, however, present any connected report of the experience of the So. in such a form as can be presented to the reader at one view; but he analyzes the experience
of several other offices, and states the experience of his office, by way of confirmation or contrast. We shall have occasion to quote these disconnected passages from time to time. The So. has, at a more recent date caused its experience to be very carefully collated. We trust the results may be pub. for the general benefit of life ins. interests. BRITISH EQUITABLE ASSU. Co., founded in 1854, with an authorized cap. of £100,000, in 1000 shares of £100, with power to increase to £500,000. The cap. now stands at £250,000, in shares of 100. The Co. was regis. under Joint-Stock Cos. Regis. Act, 1844. By the 17th sec. of the Co.'s Deed, the liability of shareholders ceases immediately on trans. or forfeiture of shares. The arrangement as to shareholders parti. in profits is a very equitable one; current int. on paid-up cap. is paid out of general funds, into which int. on investments is carried. The profits to the shareholders beyond is derived exclusively from pol. in the non-parti. branch. The general scheme of profits is regulated by the bye-laws of the Co. under the authority of the Deed. The bonus division takes place every third year; and by the above arrangement the parti. pol. secure all the advantages of a mut. office. Bonuses may be applied to making the pol. payable during lifetime of insured.
The Co. was founded by Mr. William Sutton Gover, the present Man. Director and Act., on the occasion of his secession from the Brit. Empire Mut. His appointment as Man. is contained in the 46th sec. of Deed. The Deed is dated 15th July, 1854. It contains no clauses requiring comment beyond those already noted.
The Co. ins. "declined,' i.e. DISEASED LIVES; and it has an "advance department." It also issues non-forfeiture pol., on the "ten-prem. plan ;" and "settlement pol."
The progress of the Co. has been on the whole very satisfactory, and it is now firmly estab. Its new bus. in 1871-17th year of its existence-consisted of 1934 pol., ins. £320,319, and yielding in ann. prem. £9820; claims by 172 deaths, £28,487, including bonuses; total claims from commencement, under 1173 pol., £187,558; surrender values paid, 1871, £1777; total pol. in force, end of 1871, 17,009, ins. £2,930,210; ann. prem. thereon, 93,998; total accumulated fund, £273,073. Mr. John Wilkinson Farey is the much-respected Sub-Man. of the Co.
BRITISH EXCHEQUER LIFE ASSU. Co., founded in 1856, with an authorized cap. of £100,000, in 20,000 shares of £5. Mr. Wm. Waite was Man.-Director of the Co.; Mr. Alexander Colvin, Act. and Sec. The prosp. said:
Formerly the system [of L. ins.] was but little understood, and its advantages were principally confined to the more wealthy classes of society; the great bulk of the people were in utter ignorance of its vast capabilities, and until recently no extraordinary efforts were made to popularize and bring these advantages within the reach of the middle and industrial classes, who in fact stood most in need of assistance. . . . It would appear almost incredible that so many thousands, and hundreds of thousands of persons, whose means will admit of their doing so, have omitted so important and sacred a duty. It is believed that up to the present time there are not more than 200,000 who have availed themselves of the advantages of life assu. for family purposes; this seems more remarkable and unaccountable, since the death of every 1000 husbands in the middle and lower ranks leaves behind them at least 4000 women and children in penury and distress, if not absolutely want.
The distinctive feature of the Co. was that whole-term insurers on the "withdrawal scale" [a table of prems. about 10 p.c. higher than ordinary life prems.] might at any time withdraw one-half of the prems. paid on the pol., paying 5 p.c. int. for the loan, and giving no security beyond an indorsement of the pol. After payment of 5 prems. a parti. pol.-holder was entitled to receive a free pol. for the entire prems. paid. In 1868 the bus. of the Co., which was very small, became united with the Brit., Foreing, and Colonial.
BRITISH FIRE ASSU. OFFICE, founded towards the close of the last century, the date most commonly named being 1799; but we are disposed to attribute it to some three or four years earlier, for reasons which will presently appear.
On the occasion of the promoters of the Globe applying for a charter in 1799, this Co. petitioned against the same. From this petition we take the following clauses, which embody in the main the early hist. of the office:
That your petitioners several years ago estab. a So. or Co. called the British Fire Ins. Co., for ins. against fire within the U.K. of Gt. Brit. and Ireland, and all other parts and places within His Majesty's dominions, upon an ample capital, and made themselves also responsible for all payments which might become due under their policies, without any charter, or any reservation or limitation between themselves and those amongst the public who should insure with them.
That your petitioners humbly conceive, that if the said bill should pass into a law, it will be a great prejudice to the interest of your petitioners, by giving the said intended Co. various privileges and advantages over your petitioners, who have, after the most persevering labour and assiduity, at a very great expense, and with an ample capital, estab. an undertaking for carrying on the bus. of F. ins. within the U.K. of Gt. Brit. and Ireland, and elsewhere within His Majesty's dominions, by means of which, and other present existing offices, the merchants and manufacturers have been supplied with ins. to the full extent of their wants, and that at the lowest terms which can be afforded, with reasonable profit to themselves, and security to the public. And the proprietors of agricultural stock throughout the kingdom have been materially benefited both in the rates and modes of insuring that species of property; and your petitioners have paid large sums of money in consequence of such ins. That in every considerable town in the kingdom there are offices under the direction of your petitioners for making F. ins., and in several of which towns your petitioners have contributed very considerable sums for the estab. of fire engines, and other means of protecting the property of individuals.
In 1805 the Co stood 5th on the list of F. offices as to amount of duty collected, the amount being £18,744.