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impunity. We have before us the notes of the trial of James Smith, on the prosecution of the Altas Assu. Co., for wilfully setting fire to his dwelling-house, No. 119, Newgatest., on the night of the 11th November, 1812. This indictment was tried at the Sessions House in the Old Bailey, 15th January, 1813, before Sir Archibald Macdonald, Kt., Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer. The jury found the prisoner "not guilty;" but the directors were so satisfied with the course they had taken, that they caused a verbatim report of the trial, as taken by Mr. Gurney, to be printed.
In 1814 the Co. obtained a special Act of Parl.-54 Geo. III. c. lxxix.-An Act to enable the Altas Assu. Co. to sue and be sued in the name of their Chairman or Sec. under certain regulations. It received the R. assent 27th May, 1814. The D. of Sett. had provided that all actions were to be in names of trustees. The Act recited that difficulties had arisen ; and it was therefore enacted as stated in the title. The "certain regulations" will be commented upon in our art. LEGISLATION FOR INS. Asso.
In 1816 a bonus scheme for parti. L. pol. was propounded. Bonuses to be declared every 7 years. The profits on English and Irish bus. were to be kept distinct. The L. income was then £22,000 p.a., and the accumulated fund from prems. £69,349 Is. 4d. At this date also the plan was propounded of making ins. for the whole of life by a limited number of ann. payments. [LIMITED PREM. L. POL.]
In the same year a scheme of parti. for Fire pol. was adopted, in this form : After payment of losses, and expenses attendant upon losses, the commission to agents and the charges of management, on a scale moderately proportioned to the receipts, the surplus prem, which may remain is returned to the assu, in respect of all pol. for £300 and upwards that shall have been in force from the term of 5 years. This return is made on pol. effected in Gt. Brit. and on those effected in Ireland distinctly, on the separate results of the accounts in each department-the total amount of losses being previously charged to the aggregate prems. As it will not be practicable to admit calculations for the fractional parts of a year, the returns of prems, are made only upon entire years, and ending at the Christmas quarter.
The return on F. pol. whose period of 5 years ended at Christmas, 1822, was 25 p.c. for both Gt. Brit. and Ireland. The Co. about this period had agencies with committees of local residents in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Belfast, and Londonderry. There were also committees in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Manchester. The F. duty returns of a later date show that the Co. transacted a considerable F. bus. in Ireland.
The first bonus to L. pol. was allotted at the close of 1823-and was called "Surplus prems."-on a 1000 pol. taken out at age 30, and on which the ann. prem. was 26 145. 2d., the rev. bonus for the 7 years amounted to £135, being just under 2 p.c. p.a. In this same year Mr. Ansell was appointed Act. of the Co.
In 1826 the Co. issued: Instructions for the Solicitors in correspondence with the Atlas Ins. Co. of Lond. A well-written pub., from which we make a few extracts :
The Co. does not now grant annu., the terms offered by Gov. being more favourable for the public than any assu. office can afford to give. These favourable terms, it is understood, form part of the plan of Gov. for reducing the National Debt, by converting annu, in perpetuity into terminable L. annu. The grant of endow, or the assu. of sums payable to children of specified ages, provided they attain the age of 21 years, has never formed a part of the bus. of this office.
Then the following:
Report on Appearance.-The solicitor will then see the party whose life is proposed for assu., and ask him the several questions printed on the fly-leaf of the declaration; particularly noticing any diseases or ailments he may state that he has had or is subject to.
Young Life.-If the life proposed be that of a youth or girl, the solicitor is to inquire and state whether he or she have had the measles, hooping-cough, etc.
Gout. If it be declared that the party have had the gout, the solicitor is to ascertain and report: 1. When the gouty symptoms first appeared. 2. What part of the body was affected. 3. How often the attacks of gout have occurred during the last 3 years.
Solicitors' Remarks.-The solicitor's own remarks on the appearance of the party whose life is proposed will then follow, as well as any information respecting the party which the solicitor is either possessed of or can obtain. These remarks he will be pleased not to write in the presence of the proposer of the ins. or of other interested party. As the directors rely much on the solicitor's report, they, of course, depend on his taking every means to satisfy his own judgment that all lives he may recommend or assu., or report favourably upon, have an equal chance of long life with other perfectly healthy persons of like age; since it must be obvious that none other can be assu. without a manifest disadvantage to the Co.
It is out of no idle curiosity that we read and extract these "instructions." We see in the care and sagacity they indicate the germ of that prosperity which has always characterized this office. Again :
Assu. of Solicitor's own Life.-When a solicitor proposes an assu. on his own life, and cannot conveniently appear before the directors, it would be proper that his replies to the usual interrogatories which accompany the declaration should be taken down, and the certificate of his appearance signed by some public character in the place to whom he may not object to apply confidentially; such as the minister of the parish or a justice of the peace. A similar course may be pursued in cases in which a solicitor has a personal interest in any other life.
It is carefully noted that “no alteration whatever can under any circumstances be made by a solicitor in a L. pol., nor can he make any indorsement thereon."
The bonus divisions of 1830 and 1837 call for no special remark. By 1841 the cap., orig. £120,000, had increased by bonus add. to £200,000. Mr. Ansell gave evidence before the Parl. Committee on Joint-Stock Asso. which sat in 1843. He gave some details regarding this Co., of which we have made use on the present occasion. He further said that however disastrous the F. bus. might at any time become, that circum
stance would not in any respect alter the bonus or profit upon the L. bus.: the proprietors themselves would have to make good the deficiency arising from the losses on the F. pol., leaving the L. ins. fund untouched (answer 1925). We notice that the Deed was carefully drawn in this respect. [COMPLEX INS. Asso.]
In 1844 a bonus investigation took place. The total surplus for Gt. Brit. and Ireland together at that date amounted to £262,472 14s. 8d.
In 1848 new regulations were made regarding distribution of surplus. tions and divisions were to take place every five years, instead of every seven. investigation, therefore, fell due at the close of 1849. The amount for distribution to parti. L. pol. was ascertained to be £246,995 6s. 2d., of which there was allotted to Gt. Brit. and Ireland £193,364 14s. 11d., retaining £53,630 11s. 3d. as a cautionary reserve kept back to be improved at compound int., for the exclusive benefit of the pol.holders." The surplus was declared to be realized and not anticipatory. The ann. income of the L. branch was then £170,000: the accumulated L. fund £1,353,436.
We pass over several other divisions, and reach that of 1869. The total surplus allocated to L. pol.-holders, up to and including the then division, had reached the sum of £1,411,447, cash-purchasing rev. bonus, for, of course, very much larger sums. The pol. in force at that date were: ordinary whole life with parti., 5759; without parti., 65; special ins., 375-total, 6199 L. pol. There were 18 annu. (we have seen annu. bus. was discontinued before 1826) payable, amounting to £450 p.a. The average age of the annu. was 62. Two of the pol.-holders were upwards of 90 years of age. The future progress of the Co. will be learned from its ann. returns.
The office is unquestionably one of the most solid ins. inst. of the country.
ATLAS FREIGHT INSURANCE Asso.-This Co. was founded in Sunderland in 1847, for the purpose of mutual marine ins. It was existing in 1853.
ATLAS MARINE (No. 1).—A Co. under this title was projected in Liverpool in 1852. We have not been able to learn its subsequent hist.
ATLAS MARINE Insurance Co. (No. 2), founded in 1857, and ceased to carry on bus. in 1863.
ATLEE, JOHN, was Sec. of British Industry Ins. Asso., 1852. ATMOSPHERE.-That volume of air that surrounds the earth. The term atmospheric air" was introduced to distinguish the atmosphere from other airs-a term formerly applied, to all the gases.
The earth, it is well known, is surrounded by an atmosphere of organic matter, as well as of oxygen, nitrogen, carbonic acid, and watery vapour. This matter varies, and is constantly undergoing transformation from organic into inorganic elements; it can neither be seen, weighed, nor measured.-Reg.-Gen. 10th Report.
Dr. Farr has again and again drawn attention to the qualities and properties of the atmosphere as affecting human life and health. The following accompanied the 5th Report of Reg.-Gen.:
The atmosphere, besides oxygen and nitrogen, contains carbonic acid and aqueous vapour. The mean proportion of carbonic acid is 49 volumes in 100,000 volumes of air, according to the younger Saussure; who also states that it varies from 37 to 62 volumes. Mr. Coathoupe has estimated the quantity of air which passes through the lungs of a man of ordinary size in 24 hours at 267 cubic feet, of which nearly 8 p.c. by volume, or 21 feet, are exchanged for carbonic acid; the bulk would be equivalent to a cube of 6'4 feet. If, for a mere illustration, we assume that on an average 16 cubic feet of the gas are thrown off from the skin and lungs of each person, 30 million cubic feet will be exhaled daily by the pop. of the metropolis, distributed over an area of about 1951 million square feet. Add the amount of the same gas formed by animals of every kind-fires, lamps-and multiply the sum by 100, inasmuch as respiration for several hours in air which contains 1 or 2 p.c. of carbonic acid has been found to produce alarming effects (Broughton), and it will be seen that without effectual means of dispersion the amount of air vitiated in the metropolis, by this element alone, would be by no means inconsiderable.
Is the excessive mort., then, in towns, to be ascribed to the accumulation of carbonic acid, or of any similar gas, which is so rare as to be innoxious in open districts? It was natural, when it had been discovered that carbonic acid mixed in air destroyed animals, and after many accidents in mines and closed chambers had been traced to this agent, to ascribe the excessive mort. of towns to the same cause. Further investigation must show, I think, that it has but a small share in raising the mort. of towns, the provision for its dispersion is so complete. [AIR.] [CLIMATE.] ATONIA (from the Greek, tone).—A word denoting relaxation, a want of tone of the system generally. ATONIC GOUT.-A variety of gout in which the characteristic symptoms of the disease are accompanied by atony of the stomach or other internal organ.-Hoblyn. ATROPHY (technically termed Atrophia).—Want of nutrition; a wasting and loss of substance, without any discoverable disease. A disease of the whole body, or of any particular part-thus atrophy of the heart is fatty degeneration of the muscular tissue of that organ.
ATROPHY AND DEBILITY (Class, DEVELOPMENTAL; Order, Diseases of Nutrition).—The deaths from these combined causes in England show a considerable increase. consecutive years they were as follows: 1858, 26,860; 1859, 27,990; 1860, 26,930; 1861, 29,291; 1862, 27,077; 1863, 28,193; 1864, 29,634; 1865, 32, 161; 1866, 31,097; 1867, 32,317; showing a variation from 1393 deaths to each million of the pop. in 1858 to 1473 p. million in 1861, 1549 in 1865, and 1523 in 1867. Over a period of 5 years ending 1864 they averaged 1404 p. million.
The deaths in 1867 were: Males, 16,965: Females, 15,352. Of the M., 14,725 died under 5; 122 between 5 and 10; 42 between 10 and 15; 26 between 15 and 20; 27 between 20 and 25; 59 between 25 and 35; 61 between 35 and 45; 158 between 45 and 55; 698 between 55 and 65; 1030 between 65 and 75; and 17 between 75 and 85. Of the F., 12,423 died under 5; 142 between 5 and 10; 51 between 10 and 15; 43 between 15 and 20; 30 between 20 and 25; 80 between 25 and 35; 135 between 35 and 45; 272 between 45 and 55; 846 between 55 and 65; 1310 between 65 and 75; 15 between 75 and 85; 4 between 85 and 95; and I over 95. [DEBILITY.] ATTACHMENT.-The act of attaching money held by one person on account of another pending the result of an action. According to the custom, or mercantile usage, of the City of Lond., a writ of attachment may be issued by the Lord Mayor's Court against the money accruing or accrued of a debtor, in the hands of third parties, as a Bank, Ins. Office, etc. The order served is called a Garnishee Order; and the duty of the person served will be fully explained under GARNISHMENT. In Scotland a similar process prevails, called ARRESTMENT. ATTENUATION (Lat. attenuo, to make thin).-The lessening of weight, or consistency; ATTESTATION.-Testimony, evidence, justification; the execution of a deed or will in the presence of witnesses. Attestation clause: the sentence subs. to a written instrument, signed by the witnesses to its execution, stating that they have witnessed it. Attesting witness: a person who has seen a party execute a deed or sign a written agreement. He then subscribes his signature, for the purpose of identification and proof at any future period. ATTFIELD, DR. JOHN, Director of the Laboratory of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, was examined before the Parl. Com. on Fire Protection, 1867, as to the explosive properties of petroleum, and other mineral oils. He said during the preceding six months he had procured 65 specimens of oils, purchased in shops, and some obtained from the Docks, in the neighbourhood of London; and he submitted a table showing the temperature at which those oils gave off inflammable vapours. The results will be found under CHEMICAL PRODUCTS, and Petroleum.
ATTORNEY (Fr. substituted).—One who is appointed by another to do something in his absence, and who has his authority to act in the place and turn of him by whom he is delegated. He is of two kinds :-1. Attorney-at-Law. 2. Attorney in fact. This latter includes all agents employed in any bus., or to do any act for another; also a person acting under a special agency, whose authority must be expressed by deed, commonly called a power of attorney.
AUCTIONEERS' FIRE, LIFE, AND FIDELITY Co.-An office under this title was projected in 1849, but it did not proceed to complete regis.
AUDIT.-An examining of accounts. Some years since a good deal of discussion took place as to the desirability or otherwise of a Gov. audit of the accounts of ins. asso., as a means of lessening the many abuses practised. The idea seemed feasible; and we for a time gave it our support in a variety of ways. More mature consideration brought an alteration in our views. An audit is after all only a process of reviewing expenditure already incurred. It cannot question the policy of any given expenditure: it simply certifies that the expenditure has been made. To go further is to assume the function of management: an office in no way pertaining to an auditor. The publication of accountsby which means all who are interested may criticize and censure is a more effective remedy. We must briefly glance at what has been proposed, and what has been done in the matter of auditing.
Mr. W. T. Thomson, in his pamphlet, On the Present Position of the L. Assu. Interests of Gt. Brit., pub. 1852-an able production-discussing remedial measures for the state of matters then existing, proposed (inter alia) —
(4). That a thoroughly practical and judicious professional act., unconnected with any assu, office, be appointed as auditor in conjunction with the Registrar [of Joint-Stock Cos.], with power to send for persons and documents; and who shall be in close connexion with the B. of Trade. (5). That the B. of Trade, after a report from the registrar and auditor, and such further procedure as may be thought necessary, be empowered to suspend the operations of any so. whose management is disrespectable or tending to insolvency.
This pamphlet was in the form of a letter, addressed to Mr. Henley, the then President of the Board of Trade.
In the same year Mr. Thomson pub. Further Suggestions with Reference to the Amendment of the Joint-Stock Regis. Act, as regards L. Assu. Inst. This was in the form of a letter addressed to Mr. Francis Whitmarsh, the then Registrar of Joint-Stock Cos. ; in which the preceding views were reiterated, and further developed and explained.
Dr. Farr was one of the early champions for a "public audit" of the accounts of L. offices. In his able Letter, which appeared in the 12th Report of Registrar-General (1853), he says:
A settled system of actual ann. audit will prob. ere long be instituted, and such returns be made in a statistical form, as will enable all the sound offices to estab. beyond any doubt their ability to fulfil their engagements, and to return a large surplus to the persons who insure.
He enters upon some illustrative reasoning; and again proceeds:
If a public audit is called for in ordinary cos., and would be useful in banks, from which the depositor can withdraw his deposits in a day, something of the kind is required in L. offices, which engage to pay their depositors at the end of 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60 years! In the keen competition for present prems., is there not some danger that, without such a check, the expenditure, and the promises of benefit at that distant day-the end of the depositor's life-may be too liberal?
The finance of a L. office, it has been shown, differs essentially from that of any other co. While it is advancing to insolvency, its income may exceed its outgo for many years; or it may have a large surplus of misappropriated capital, while its annual expenditure largely exceeds its income. An ordinary balance-sheet is no test to its financial condition; and by using bad Tables, assuming different rates of int., operating on different principles, the results of valuations, as they are called, may be made to differ to the extent of many thousands-hundreds of thousands of pounds.
He clearly, however, is not advocating a system of Gov. audit, for that he speaks of on the same page as "neither desirable nor practicable." Uniform accounts arranged in
a scientific manner appears to be the scheme in his mind.
Numerous suggestions regarding audit and arrangement of accounts were made to the Select Committee on Assu. Asso. which sat that same year (1853); but the Committee in its report made no special recommendations on the subject of audit. [LIFE Ins., HIST. OF.]
In the Joint-Stock Cos. Act, 1862, there are powers for the Board of Trade to appoint competent inspectors to examine into the affairs of any co. regis. thereunder, and to report to the Board. This power will be fully set forth under title BOARD OF TRADE.
The Economist newspaper suggested in 1869 the following scheme for a voluntary Gov. audit of Joint-Stock Cos. generally :—Any office so desiring to have the option of calling in a Board of Trade auditor, and obtaining and pub. his certificate, the Co. to pay the expense, against which, if it came through all right, it would have the advantage of announcing that its accounts were "certified." Of course the investments must, for this purpose, be all in such shape, and of such a character, as to render their cash value easily discoverable-Consols, terminable annu., mortgages.
In the L. Assu. Cos. Act, 1870, there are no provisions regarding audit of accounts. In the U.S. there is no compulsory audit of the accounts of ins. asso. The investigation by the ins. superintendents in some of the States, no doubt, amounts to an audit, and a very stringent one. [ACCOUNTS.] [Actuarial Reports.] [Ann. List of Members.] [BALANCE-SHEETS.] [BOARD OF TRADE.]
AUDITOR.-One who examines and verifies the accounts of officers and others entrusted with money; as also the accounts of asso. and public cos. The term is derived from the Latin audio, I hear, probably from the ancient practice of delivering accounts viva voce. AUDLEY THE USURER.-This man was a great speculator in annu. on lives in the 16th century, and by his sagacity rose from being a solicitor's clerk to become a great capitalist; and to attain all the ill-fame and all the wealth of a usurer. Francis, in his Annals, etc., gives a most amusing account of him, and probably not much overdrawn. [ANNU. ON LIVES.]
AULD, JOHN G., was Sec. in Lond. for Colonial Life from 1849 to 1854, shortly after which date he died.
AUSCULTATION (ausculto, to listen).—Auricular exploration. The act of listening by the application of the ear, in the examination of disease. It is termed immediate, when practised by the unassisted ear; mediate, when performed by means of the stethoscope. — Hoblyn. AUSTRALIA. The population of our Australian colonies is growing rapidly. In 1830 it was 40,000; in 1860, 1,500,000. The excess of males over females at that date was 176,696. This operates against the adoption of L. ins.
Ins. in its various branches has, however, taken root in Australia, as it does in all Anglo-Saxon communities. The British offices at a very early period estab. agencies in all the principal towns. Local offices are now springing up, fire, life, and marine. An accident ins. office was tried there a few years since (1865), but after a year and a half's experience it was abandoned (1867), on the ground, "that sufficient risks were not obtainable." Volunteer fire brigades have found much favour, and have been of essential service. Sydney several years since had a steam fire-engine; probably some of the other cities now have them.
Among the local life offices that are best known here is the Australian Mut. Prov., of which Mr. Morrice A. Black is now the Act. We have not a complete list either of the life or other Australian cos. at hand, but hope to furnish one in our supplement. It will be observed that a large number of offices have been founded, or at least projected, on this side for the special benefit of these colonies. We suspect the colonists have been reasonably sagacious in their selection. The Anglo-Australian L. presented some features which we have already noted. Several others follow to be investigated.
The climate of Australia is found to be well suited to persons of consumptive tendency. We shall speak of this more fully under LOCAlity.
AUSTRALIAN, COLONIAL, AND GENERAL LIFE ASSU. AND ANNU. Co., founded in 1839 with an authorized cap. of £200,000, in 2000 shares of £100.
This Co. (said the prosp.) has not been constituted before the directors and promoters
have entirely satisfied themselves of the soundness of its principles, and the reasonableness of their expectation that such a so. is now required. The document then sets forth: Life assu. is better appreciated and more generally resorted to than formerly. It is acknowledged by a large majority of those who have assu. their own lives, that the prems. so applied are so much clear saving of that which would otherwise have been spent; whilst to creditors and the possessors of every description of property dependent upon lives, it affords security and certainty which they could not otherwise obtain. Some persons (overlooking, in the ascertained and definite operation of the law of mort. upon large numbers, the proverbial and awful uncertainty of individual life) have indeed objected that they can employ their money themselves at a higher rate of profit than assu. sos. incumbered, as many of them are, with heavy expenses of management, can employ it for them. This objection, however, does not apply generally to this so.-as the directors will be enabled, by investing a part of their funds in perfectly good security at a high rate of int. in the Australian Colonies, in modes and under circumstances safer and more beneficial than are obtainable by individuals, to secure an average return much exceeding any which can be safely made by public or private investment in England, and which, with great economy in management, affords good reason to expect considerable profit to the assured.
Mortgages of the first class in Australia are as secure as those upon English lands, with this great advantage, that the latter have prob. attained their maximum of value, and may be much depreciated by alterations in the Corn or other laws; whilst in these colonies the money so borrowed is usually laid out in extended and improved cultivation, whereby the security is increased year by year; to which may be added that a public registry of all mortgages affords both facility and security to this mode of employing cap..
This so. will doubtless receive the support of those more particularly connected with the Australian Colonies; as by its permanent investments therein, and by the security it will afford to monetary transactions, it must accelerate the development of their resources, and contribute much to their advancement.
No extra prem. was to be charged to persons ins. for the whole of life "for voyage as cabin or intermediate passengers in approved vessels to, or for residence in the Australian colonies in approved situations.' Distance from medical advice, occupation in whale fishery, or distant voyaging, would be covered by equitable prems; "but parties may proceed from port to port throughout the Australian colonies in decked vessels of 100 tons and upwards." Prems. on pol., wherever effected, might be paid in any settlement in Australia, "where there is a bank," but always at the same, unless permission to change should have been given. Pol. might be made payable in either country by indorsement.
So much for the peculiar features of the office in relation to Australia. Now we have to glance at its other special features. Participation in profits and low rates of prem. were especially dwelt upon in the prosp.
In add. to the advantage of the low rate of prem. required by this so., one-half of the profits will be divided among the assured and annuitants; but in the first instance one-fifth of the whole will be retained to form an extra precautionary fund.
The profits were to be divided quinquenially; and there was this special feature, that for each bonus declared, a separate pol, was to be issued, payable at death, quite irrespective of keeping up the original pol.; and as the prosp. put it, "increasing, without cost, in value every year." The annuitants were to participate in the profits of the life fund; and these profits were to be distributed quinquennially, by means of an add. annuity. But then there came this clause, based upon the "limitation scheme" of the Equitable:
The benefited members of the Co. will consist of the first 1000 pol.-holders for the time being, for the whole of life for £500 or upwards in one or more pol.; and the first 1000 annuitants for the time being, who have paid £500 or upwards for their annu. Every vacancy in the 1000 benefited pol.-holders to be filled up by the next oldest pol. of assu on the plan of the Equitable So. of Lond.; and in like manner every vacancy in the 1000 benefited annuitants, by the next oldest deed of annu. The assu. and annuitants, however, will only succeed to the vacancies in their respective class. There were descending and ascending scales of prem. Onethird credit pol. were issued. parti. scale for whole of life:
The annexed was the ordinary
But subject to this proviso, that the rate would be revised ann. with reference to the rate of int. to be securely obtained, and other circumstances; "but no alteration will be made in existing contracts. The prosp. further said, "T. of prems. for assu. on the lives of officers engaged in civil and military service in the East Indies have been calculated, and may be seen at the office of the Co." The prosp. was signed by Christopher Cousins, Accountant. Mr. Edward Ryley was the Act. and Sec. of the Co.
£ s. d.
7 16 10
10 6 2
2 15 3 36
In 1852 the bus. of the Co., which we believe had never been extensive, was trans. to the Liverpool and Lond. AUSTRALIAN AND GENERAL CONSIGNMENT AND UNDERWRITING Asso. This Co. was projected in 1853 by a well-known hand-Mr. J. Newnham Burnand, then described as a stock-broker. Its regis. objects were Marine and Commission bus. We do not find that it ever reached the stage of complete regis. AUSTRALIAN LLOYD'S.-An asso. under this title, for the regis. of the shipping of the Colony, has been estab. in Melbourne.
AUSTRALIAN MERCANTILE MARINE.-This Co. was projected in 1853, and among its promoters was Mr. W. Blanchard Jerrold. The scheme did not go forward.