The Solicitor's Waste Bin

6. Insurance Documents & Ledgers In The Bednall Collection 

The Bednall Archive 
Last updated 04/02/2014 


Amongst the many documents that may be found in the archives of long-established solicitors, are insurance documents and ledgers relating to various fire office and life insurance agencies operated by their predecessors. Messrs Challinor & Shaw of Leek, Staffordshire were no exception in this regard and consequently the Challinor Collection in the Staffordshire Archives and the private Bednall Collection contain such documents. 

The documents and ledgers in the Bednall Collection include: 

1. The Challinor Policies 1788 - 1975

BC2/1505 Insurance Book 1788-1799, for the Phoenix Fire Office agency run by William Challinor of Leek, Staffordshire and covering accounts in (chiefly) Staffordshire and Cheshire;

BC2/1652 Insurance ledger listing details of policies issued to persons and firms by Messrs Challinor & Shaw as agents for the Royal Exchange Insurance Company Limited, Hanley, from about 1870 to around 1890 with additional notes up to at least 1916;

 BC15/15 Fire Insurance Company Ledger of Messrs Challinor & Shaw solicitors, Leek, Staffordshire: 1930 to 1975.

The Challinor Policies are discussed in “Aspects of Leek’s History Revealed Through Challinors’ Insurance Books” Bednall A.W., 2014

2. The Marson Policies 1834

BC1/85 Nineteen handwritten insurance policies issued between 1834 and 1835 by Gervase Marson of Cheadle, Staffordshire as agent of the Norwich Union Insurance Company. The Marson Policies are discussed in the article - The Marson Policies 1834 to 1835 


 3. Scottish Widows Life Insurance Proposal 1866
BC1/120 Life insurance proposal submitted by Thomas Shaw of Leek, Staffordshire, a solicitor's managing clerk, on 28th December 1866 to Joshua Nicholson & Sons, agents in Leek for the Scottish Widows Fund. The application is on a standard printed Scottish Widows Fund form giving details of the company’s policies, profits, bonuses etc. The document also gives details supplied by Shaw about such things as age, habits, illnesses suffered from, dates and causes of death of parents etc.

4. Birmingham Fire Office Buildings Insurance 1858
BC1/425 Insurance policy number 76125 issued by the Birmingham Fire Office of Union Street, Birmingham to William Beaumont Badnall of Leek dated 6th November 1858. The sum insured was £650 and covered three houses in Stockwell Street occupied respectively by ...Ritchie, a surgeon (valued at £300), by a Bank (valued at £175), and by Billinge, a builder, all of which were of brick and tile or slate.

5. Miscellaneous Insurance Documents in the Bednall Collection
BC1/441 Two letters from Samuel Kay of the Silk Mill, Droylesdon to F.B.Cull Esq. dated 24th and 27th October 1887 respectively. They relate to fire insurance and in particular to a small stove made by Constantine of London installed in what was a box room.

BC1/469/ Draft security and mortgage against loss under a deed of covenant between Andrew Jukes Worthington of Leek, Staffs., silk manufacturer, and William Challinor of Leek dated 1873. Cites an indenture between (1) William Challinor, (2) A.J.Worthington (3) the Manchester & Liverpool District Bank Co. made at the request of A.J.Worthington as security for him. The covenant with the Bank was that Challinor would pay the annual premiums for Worthington's life assurance policies. Annual premium was £51 5s 3d. The premiums were for policies of £1500 from Eagle Insurance Co dated 29th November 1844 -premium £22 15s 0d, for £999 19s 0d with the Life Assurance Association of Scotland dated 8th April 1846  -premium £17 19s 5d; and another dated 5th May 1851 for £499 19s 0d -premium £10 10s 2d.

 BC1/1065 Typed particulars of the fire insurance policy issued by the Allied Assurance Company Ltd with respect to Badenhall Farm near Eccleshall, Staffordshire which was valid until 24th June 1945. Policy No. 5835740. Total Amount Insured £7725. The farmhouse was valued at £2000, the Lodge at £100 and the two cottages jointly at £500. All the latter buildings were stated to be brick or stone built and slated and tiled. The two cottages were semi-detached.  The Lodge and the cottages each had a privy, a washhouse and piggeries.  The farm buildings are listed and these include a "cowhouse, engine house, turnip houses, cowhouse, cakehouse, loose boxes and a smithy, forming three sides of a square".

BC1/1086 List of insurances in the Norwich Union Office 1821 onwards, Leek, Staffordshire. The document lists names, amount insured, duty, total premiums, date received and from whom and the amount received. It is broken down into fire and life insurance policies.  John Cruso senior was insured against fire in the sum of £4200. The premium for this was £4-4s, the duty £6-6s making a total of £10-10s. The others insured included his son John Elijah Pointon, Thomas Sanders, John Goddard, William and Edward Challinor, James Wardle and Joseph Broster of Rainow. The range of values insured against fire was from £150 to £5000. The highest sum insured related to the policy covering Messrs Glendenning & Gaunt, Messrs Sutton & Co were also insured with the Norwich in the sum of £1200. The number of life insurance policies was relatively low Charles Coupland's life was insured for £999 in 1821 for a premium of £23-17s. The only other life insurance policies listed were on the lives of G. R. Killmister and the Revd. James Sykes.

 BC2/101/4 "Mr Trafford's Account" re Mr William Trafford to Arthur Johnson 1878 to 1880. This is a listing of insurance policies, premiums paid and interest. 

  BC2/217 Imperial Insurance Company Limited fire insurance policy no. 2354115, dated 28th July 1892.  George Wardle of Leek Brook near Leek, Staffordshire is the person whose property is insured for £2250 for a premium of £2:0s:3d. The policy covers his house at Leek Brook, which was valued at £650, and house contents. Specific items were separately listed and these included "an oil painting by Rembrandt" values at £50 

 BC2/249 Building and contents fire insurance cover note issued by the Royal Insurance Company, Hanley, Staffordshire to Clement C. Ellis of Knivedon Hall, Mount Pleasant, Leek, Staffordshire 15th August 1902. Policy No. 2323180, sum assured £7500. 

 BC2/293 Two fire insurance renewal receipts dated 25th December 1883 for monies received from W. B. Badnall to renew policies 146421 and 129330 issued by the Lancashire Insurance Company. The sum assured was £650 in both cases. 

 BC2/361 Nine letters and other items from the Vulcan Boiler and General Insurance Company Limited of Renfield Street, Glasgow to D. McGregor, Clydesdale Bank Buildings, Oban, dating between 13th January 1919 and 1st February 1919. Most relate to insurance and inspection of electrical plant of The Neptune Mills Limited.  Also includes agency appointment. 

 BC2/364/2. Lancashire Insurance Company fire insurance renewal receipt for policy number 525082, dated 29th September 1883 and covering the house at Thorpe for £1250. 

 BC2/400 Various items relating to the value of properties in North Staffordshire.
(1) Notes on property in Waterhouses, Staffordshire."2 buildings at Waterhouses one with a joiners shop in the possession of Charles Green £60 and the other Joseph Shirley's house and grocer's shop £60 distinct bakehouse stable cellar and rooms over 60 adjoining Greens. Limestone brick and tiled. "31st March 1801 "from Mrs Green".
(2) Note that simply states " Nov. 1800. Insurance account. 27th December sent Michaelmas renewals and account of money received for new policies.
(3) Scrap of paper- undated- listing "Common Insurance on a property. It states:"       House & Brewhouse  -300; Household Goods & Furniture therein -125; Tenement in yard -50; Stable in yard -25. Total 500.
(4) List of insurances with the Phoenix Fire Office of premises and people in Leek, Staffordshire [undated but about 1800]. Gives names, sums assured and Midsummer premium. The sums assured ranged from £100 to £6000 with the highest amounts being the policies of the Suttons firm and E. Thorneycroft. The total sum assured was £39,268 and the total of premiums was £53-11s-0d. These were evidently old insurances for a pencilled note and also gives new ones for Fynney, Ford, Deaville; Knight, Birch and ?.
5. William Challinor's list of insurances with the Phoenix Fire Office of premises and people in Leek, Staffordshire [undated but about 1785]. Gives policy numbers, names (22), to what date paid, premiums and the duty to be paid.
6. Letter written "with insurances" by G. R. Killmister of Leek, Staffordshire to a Mr Hardy on 6th October 1800. The letter accompanied Killmister's draft for £18-8s-4.5d as the balance of his account for insurances and the account is given. It shows that the sum posted to Hardy was for all the premium duty for insurances he had received less postage and a"percentage on money received".  Killmister asked Hardy to forward a policy for John Brough of Newcastle, Staffordshire, mercer, on houses in Spout Street, Leek, Staffordshire, occupied by Samuel Maskery, James Heath, (?) Williams and Walter Osborne and insured from 9th August 1800.  He added a PS requesting a policy for Gaunt's houses at the bottom of Spout Street (£300), for Gaunt, Lucas and Lay's drying house (£100) and also on goods in Mr. Gaunt's house on Stockwell Street (£300)
7. Note [undated] listing insurance premiums received from six people for the Michalmas Quarter and also amounts not received from Mr. Brough, Mr. Gaunt or from Gaunt and Co.
8. Note [undated] listing insurance premiums received/due? from eleven people on or by Lady Day. Gives policy numbers, names, premiums and the duty to be paid.
9. "Mr. Brough's instructions for insurance sent 4th October 1800." "To insure Premises in occupation of Samuel Goodwin and Samuel Maskery -alone- £200.
Thatched building in possession of James Heath and Williams £100.
Walter Osborne's tiled bakehouse and small house adjoining in possession of Maskery. Bakehouse etc. tiled,  £100.
10. Instructions for Mr. Lowndes' policy [Undated]. Farrington's house brick and stone and tile -£250. House thatched, brick or stone in occupation of Betty Birch, James Royle, Betty Myott and William Lowndes- £150. All those four houses in Derby Street in the occupation of Joseph Birch, John Finney, George Massey and William Barker -all brick, slated or tiled -£250.  Total £650. Policy as above for Mr. Lowndes.
11. List of policy numbers and sums ranging from £2 to £100. Undated.
12. Rough notes on premiums? Received from H. Ford, J. Gaunt, S. Phillips, S. Farrington, Davenport and Morris & Co.

 BC2/714/1 Midland Counties Insurance Company Policy No. 21001 to James Alsop, William Beaumont Badnall & Andrew Jukes Worthington for fire insurance on two adjoining houses and a crate shop at cellar Head near Wetley Rocks, Staffordshire, occupied by Joseph Shenton. Dated 4th January 1865. 

 BC2/1123 Fire insurance policy issued by The Staffordshire Fire Insurance Company  Ltd., Hanley, Staffordshire to Hugh Sleigh of St. Edward Street, Leek, Staffordshire, silk manufacturer, dated 3rd August 1870. The property covered included a private house on St. Edward Street occupied by Mr Irving, a draper; 5 adjoining houses in Sleigh's Yard occupied by Agnes Toufflet and others; a silk shade three stories high adjoining the latter houses (only hand power used in it); another house in St. Edward Street, occupied by Hugh Sleigh; a silk warehouse with winding room over worked by hand power in St. Edward Street and occupied by the Insured.  There were also other houses in Canal Street.

 BC2/1266/  Henry Bermingham, Silk Manufacturer's Insurance Documents.
[1] Correspondence between the trustees of Henry Bermingham of Leek, Staffordshire, deceased, and The Cotton Waste Fire Insurance Company Ltd in connection with alterations in connection with the new warehouse at Compton Mills, Leek, Staffordshire. Hacker & Allen Leek, October -November 1906.
[2] Draft agreement between the trustees of the will of the late Henry Bermingham of Leek, Staffordshire, silk manufacturer and The Cotton Waste Fire Insurance Company Ltd of Heywood, Lancashire, in connections alterations to existing property following the erection of a new warehouse situate near the Compton Mills, Leek, Hacker & Allen, 1906.
[3] Fire insurance certificate (No. 9877252) issued by the Royal Insurance Company, in favour of the trustees of the late Henry Bermingham of Leek, Staffordshire, silk manufacturer and dated 23rd January 1907. Includes a detailed schedule of the Compton Mills situated in Duke Street, South Street and Compton, Leek, which was insured for £7000. A note added to the back page and dated 1st October 1912, states that the interest in the policy was then vested in Herbert Trafford and Job White, both silk manufacturers, partners in the firm of Trafford White & Co.
[4] Fire insurance certificate (No. 9877251) issued by the Royal Insurance Company, in favour of the trustees of the late Henry Bermingham of Leek, Staffordshire, silk manufacturer and dated 23rd January 1907. Includes a detailed schedule of a new warehouse, offices and store, situated in Duke Street, South Street and Compton, Leek, which was insured for £1750. A note added to the back page and dated 1st October 1912, states that the interest in the policy was then vested in Herbert Trafford and Job White, both silk manufacturers, partners in the firm of Trafford White & Co.

BC2/1411/ Miscellaneous Insurance Receipts
[2] Insurance Co Ltd receipt, dated 29th September 1957) for the premium for the insurance of the contents of the Leek National Reserve Club's club house i.e. Field House for £325.
[3] Two key insurance renewal receipts paid by Mr B. Lees c/o Thomas Whittles Ltd, Wellington Mills, 20 & 20 Langford Street, Leek, Staffordshire for 1959-60 and 1960-61.(3)

BC2/1464 Britannia Mill Insurance 1890
Fire insurance policy issued by the Lancashire Insurance Company, Policy No. 2114814, to William Challinor and others (Gough's Trustees) with respect to the major parts (but not all) of the Britannia Silk Mill, Leek, Staffordshire on 13th March 1890. The sum assured was £2000 and the in addition to descriptions of the buildings insured the document includes a small plan. Signed, sealed and stamped.



 Sun Fire Office Records 1706-1996 
The London Metropolitan Archives hold Sun Fire Office Records 1706-1996.
The collection consists of administrative and constitutional records, minutes of the committees overseeing business, policy registers, records of business transacted with overseas agents and some records of fire brigades, of the Sun Fire Office, 1710-1891; the Exchange House Fire Office, 1708-1710; the Sun Insurance Office Ltd, 1891-1959; the Sun Alliance Group, 1959-1996 and the Royal and Sun Alliance, 1996-
Please see Information Leaflet Number 48: Fire Insurance Records for guidelines on finding and using the Sun fire insurance policy registers (CLC/B/192/F/001/MS11936).

The Phoenix Fire Office 1782-1984 
The records of the Phoenix Fire Office and its successors are held in Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.
Reference Number(s) GB 012 MS.Phoenix

The collection includes nearly all the surviving company records of the old Phoenix Assurance Company, as well as papers of the Pelican Life Assurance Company. Other subsidiaries are also represented, either in the main sequence of Phoenix records or in separate sections. These include London Guarantee and Accident (LG), Northern Maritime (NM), Tariff Reinsurances (TR) and Century (CY), as well as the Pelican subsidiaries Star (ST), British Empire Mutual (BE) and Positive (PO). 
See Phoenix Assurance Company: Records and Papers. 

Further Information 
For further information see The Historian and the Business of Insurance  Westall, O. M.:  Manchester University Press, 1984. 
and The British insurance business, 1547-1970 : an introduction and guide to historical records in the United Kingdom  Cockerell, H. A. L. & Green, Edwin:  London : Heinemann Educational, 1976