There has been much research in the profession's journals about the place of the Society for Equitable Assurances and its early pioneers in actuarial and insurance history

To offer a lead and introduction to the archive, a selection of references to papers in the Journal of the Institute of Actuaries (JIA) and Transactions of the Faculty of Actuaries (TFA) and books are listed below with links to the full text of papers online.

Origins of the ‘Actuary’ in life insurance and earlier roles

  • Ogborn, M.E. (1950). The Actuary in the Eighteenth Century. Proceedings of the Institute of Actuaries Centenary Assembly. (Cambridge University Press, 1950).
  • Ogborn, M.E. (1956). The professional name of actuary. JIA 82: 233-246.
  • Lewin, C.G. (2003). Pensions and insurance before 1800. (Tuckwell Press, 2003). (The author presents an alternative explanation of how 'actuary' became the title for the modern role known today, page 383.).

History of the Society

  • Walford, C. (1875). The History of the Equitable Society, […], from the date of its projection in 1756 down to 1873. (London: Charles and Edwin Layton, 1875). Reprinted from the Insurance Cyclopaedia. (Copy acquired in the Archive).
  • Ogborn, M.E. (1962). Equitable Assurances: The Story of Life Assurance in the Experience of the Equitable Life Assurance Society 1762-1962 (London: Allen & Unwin, 1962).
  • Review of Equitable assurances by Maurice E Ogborn. Review by A.H. Rowell. JIA (1962) 88: 387-389.
  • Review of Equitable assurances by Maurice E Ogborn. Review by R.L. Gwilt. TFA (1962-1964) 28: 104-110.

Originators of the Society and leading advisers

  • De Morgan, A. (1868). Some account of James Dodson F.R.S. JIA 14: 341-364.
  • Sibbett, T.A. (1990-1991). Richard Price 1723-1791: preacher, philosopher and actuary. Fiasco 122 January (1990): 4-6; 123 February (1990): 6-8; The Actuary April (1991): 25-28.

Actuaries to the Society

Contemporary reports and studies of the Society's mortality experience

  • Elderton, W.P. (1933). William Morgan F.R.S., 1750-1833. JIA 64: 364-365. [Exposition of tables in manuscript by William Morgan: ‘Comparison of the Decrements of Life in the Society with those of the Northampton Table 1790’, ‘Comparison of the Decrements of Life as above for 29 years from 1768 to 1796’, ‘‘Comparison of the Decrements of Life in the Society with those in Dodson’s & Halley’s & Simpson’s Tables’ ’Surplus stock of the Equitable Society determined on January 1st 1776 by finding the seperate [sic] Interests of the Members in their respective Policies &c. &c.’]
  • Report: Equitable Society. JIA (1848-1851) 1: 95-100.
  • Report: Equitable Life Assurance Society. JIA (1852-1853) 3: 349-354.
  • Report: Equitable Life Assurance Society. JIA (1853-1854) 4: 379-380.
  • Morgan, W. [1831-1897, grandson of William Morgan, 1750-1833] (1864-1866) Correspondence: The D, N, &c. columns of the Equitable Experience. JIA 12: 235-238.
  • William Palin Elderton and Maurice E Ogborn (1943). The mortality of adult males since the middle of the eighteenth century as shown by the experience of life assurance companies. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 106(1): 1-31.
  • Ogborn, M.E. and Storr-Best, R.H. (1959). Arthur Morgan's mortality experience. JIA 85: 300-309 [on the consolidated experience of lives assured 1762-1829]

Books and papers feature exposition of the Society's archives

  • Report in 1761 of the Attorney and Solicitor-General on the petition for a charter for the Equitable Life Assurance Society. JIA (Assurance Magazine) (1848-1851) 1(2): 89*-92*.(Transcript of Solicitor-General’s initial rejection of the application for a charter establishing the Society for Equitable Assurances.)
  • Institute of Actuaries (1948). Catalogue of exhibition illustrating the history of actuarial science in Great Britain with special reference to the Institute of Actuaries, 21-25 June 1948. Proceedings of the Institute of Actuaries Centenary Assembly. (Cambridge University Press, 1950).(Several manuscripts and items then belonging to the Equitable Life Assurance Society were lent to this exhibition.)
  • Thomas, D.O. and Peach, B. (eds.) (1983). The correspondence of Richard Price. Volume I. July 1748 – March 1778. (Cardiff: University of Wales, 1983). ‘Appendix. Calendar with extracts of the correspondence of Richard Price and John Edwards, Actuary of the Equitable Society, contained in MS Letterbook belonging to the Equitable Life Assurance Society.’
  • Haberman, S. and Sibbett, T.A. (eds.) (1995). History of actuarial science: Volume V. Life insurance. (London: William Pickering, 1995). Includes:
    • James Dodson, "First lecture on Insurances" [manuscript] (1756)
    • [Edward Rowe Mores], A Short Account of the Society for Equitable Assurances on Lives and Survivorships’, established by Deed inrolled in His Majesty’s Court of King’s-Bench at Westminster. London, 1762.
    • William Morgan, "Comparison of the Decrements of Life in the Society with those of the Northampton Table 1790", "Comparison of the Decrements of Life as above for 29 years from 1768 to 1796", "Comparison of the Decrements of Life in the Society with those in Dodson’s & Halley’s & Simpson’s Tables", "Surplus stock of the Equitable Society determined on January 1st 1776 by finding the seperate [sic] of the Members in their respective Policies &c. &c." (Manuscript reproduced in {link to:}William Morgan F.R.S., 1750-1833{/documents/william-morgan-frs-1750-1833}, JIA 64 (1933): 364-365.)
    • William Morgan, The Doctrine of Annuities and Assurances on Lives and Survivorships, stated and explained by William Morgan… To which is added, An Introduction addressed to the Society… By the Reverend Dr. [Richard] Price., 1779.

Selected reference works on actuarial and insurance history

  • Anderson, J.G. (1940). The birthplace and genesis of life assurance and other essays. With an introduction by Sir William Palin Elderton. 2nd edition. (London: Frederick Muller, 1940).
  • Cox,P.R. and Storr-Best, R.H. (1962). Surplus in British life assurance: actuarial control over its emergence and distribution during 200 years. (Cambridge University Press, 1962).
  • Surplus: two hundred years of actuarial advance. JIA 89: 19-60. (A presentation on their book by the authors)
  • Raynes, H.E. (1964). A history of British insurance. 2nd edition. (London: Isaac Pitman, 1964).
  • Haberman, S. and Sibbett, T.A. (eds.) (1995). History of actuarial science. (London: William Pickering, 1995). [Facsimile presentation of transcripts of original texts in ten volumes].
  • Lewin, C.G. (2003). Pensions and insurance before 1800. (Tuckwell Press, 2003).

The Equitable Archive and genealogical research

  • Bowsher, E. (2019). Assessing the genealogical value of a potential new source: the value of the Equitable Life Assurance Society archives, 1762-1835. The Journal of Genealogy and Family History 3(1): 41-51.
    https://doi.org/10.24240/23992964.2019.1234521

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) is keen to invite and encourage new researchers to this field and welcomes those researching for expositions on wider history and related topics. Actuaries with experience of historical texts would be happy to share their experiences and offer assistance with research and writing articles.

Contact Details

For any library enquiries please contact:

libraries@actuaries.org.uk

We try to respond to email queries within one working day. Researcher access to historical resources may require notice in advance of visit in order to retrieve items from storage.

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Events calendar

  • IFoA Joint Member Event with the Sunshine Insurance Group, Beijing China

    Room TBC, Kuntai International Plaza, No.12, Chaowai Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing 地址:会议室待定,北京市朝阳区朝外大街乙12号1号楼昆泰国际大厦
    12 December 2019

    Spaces available

    The IFoA’s President-elect Tan Suee Chieh will visit Beijing. We will co-host CPD and Awards Presenting event with the Sunshine Insurance Group on Thursday 12 December 2019. The event is part of Mr Tan’s first presidential trip to China.

  • ARC Sessional Research Event: Drivers of Mortality - Risk Factors and Inequality

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    6 January 2020

    Spaces available

    The authors will focus on a large dataset obtained from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) and related sources. Data are available at the level of Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) – small geographical areas with, typically, 1000-2000 residents and include death counts, exposures and a significant number of socio-economic variables including the index of multiple deprivation (IMD).

  • SIAS Event: My Journey to Data Science, Big Data and AI

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    7 January 2020

    Spaces available

    Patrick Lee is an actuary who has made the transition to working in software architecture and artificial intelligence (AI). He holds Microsoft Professional qualifications in Data Science, Big Data and AI and is currently working towards a DevOps (the automation of software testing and deployment) qualification. He is a member of the IFoA Council and is also President of the Wessex Actuarial Society. He is also a member of the IFoA and the RSS's joint Data Science Focus Group and will talk on the ethical use of AI. 

  • Spaces available

    This presentation covers the detail for how the matching adjustment is calculated. A small simple example spreadsheet is provided and discussed in detail.

    For actuaries wanting to get more involved with the matching adjustment, this is the opportunity to get a detailed description of the mechanics involved. This includes cashflows derisking, PRA tests as well as hypothecation.

    The presentation is provided by James Sharpe who has worked on a number of matching adjustment calculations with several firms.

  • IFoA Volunteer Recognition Reception

    Staple Inn, 4 High Holborn, Holborn, London WC1V 6DR, UK
    15 January 2020

    Spaces available

    As a thank you to all our Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) volunteers, you are invited to join us at Staple Inn Hall, for an evening of drinks, canapes and networking, in London.

    IFoA President, John Taylor, will be attending and will make a speech

    If you support the IFoA as a volunteer (member or non-member), or in any other role, and you are going to be in London on 15 January, please book your place and join us at this reception.

     

  • Sessional Meeting - Operational Risk Dependencies

    Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 9 Queen St Edinburgh EH2 1JQ
    20 January 2020

    Spaces available

    The Operational Risk Working Party aims to assist actuaries and others in the modelling and management of operational risk. One of the key challenges in modelling operational risk is the modelling of dependencies between operational risks, and between operational and non-operational risks such as market, credit and insurance risk. Their paper seeks to assist in this regard, and help develop good practice in setting assumptions and modelling operational risk dependencies. 

  • KSS event in Glasgow: Public Sector Pensions

    Hymans Robertson, Glasgow 20 Waterloo St, Glasgow
    30 January 2020

    Spaces available

    – the unappreciated key assumption, the resulting unsustainable promises, the unmanaged risk and the unrecognised debt? 

    Speaker: Allan Martin will present this talk on 30 January in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. If you wish to register for another location please return to the Events Calendar.

  • KSS event in Stirling: Public Sector Pensions

    M&G Prudential, Stirling Craigforth Campus, Stirling
    30 January 2020

    Spaces available

    – the unappreciated key assumption, the resulting unsustainable promises, the unmanaged risk and the unrecognised debt? 

    Speaker: Allan Martin will present this talk on 30 January in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. If you wish to register for another location please return to the Events Calendar.

  • KSS event in Edinburgh: Public Sector Pensions

    Hymans Robertson 1, Exchange Place, Semple St, Edinburgh
    30 January 2020

    Spaces available

    – the unappreciated key assumption, the resulting unsustainable promises, the unmanaged risk and the unrecognised debt? 

    Speaker: Allan Martin will present this talk on 30 January in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. If you wish to register for another location please return to the Events Calendar.

  • The Great Risk Transfer – Breakfast briefing and launch event

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    31 January 2020

    Spaces available

    Launch of the IFoA’s 2020 thought leadership campaign The Great Risk Transfer. The campaign will examine the trend of the transfer of risk from institutions to individuals, and how people can be better equipped to manage the financial risks they now face. At this breakfast event the IFoA will launch a call for evidence on this topic.

  • Professional Skills Training - London (11 February 2020)

    Staple Inn, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ         
    11 February 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Sessional: Impact of E-cigarettes Working Party

    Royal College of Physicians, 9 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JQ
    24 February 2020

    Spaces available

    This sessional meeting will be of direct interest to actuaries and others working in the in the Health and Care, Life or Pensions sectors or indeed actuaries with an interest in morbidity or mortality. Note: Registration is from 17.30 in time for the sessional to begin at 18.00.

  • Professional Skills Training - Edinburgh (25 February 2020)

    IFoA (Edinburgh), Level 2, Exchange Crescent 7 Conference Square Edinburgh EH3 8RA
    25 February 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Spring Lecture 2020, Edinburgh - Vicky Pryce

    Assembly Rooms, 54 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2LR
    25 March 2020

    Spaces available

    What next in Economic Policy?

    Please join us on 25 March 2020 for our annual Spring Lecture presented by Vicky Pryce in Edinburgh. 

  • IFoA Asia Conference 2020, Kuala Lumpur

    CCEC Nexus, 7, Jalan Kerinchi, Bangsar South, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    24-25 June 2020
    Spaces available

    The sixth annual Asia Conference once again offers a prestigious line-up of home and international speakers discussing the insurance and financial industry’s innovation and change in Asia. This year's conference in Kuala Lumpur will be hosted by Tan Suee Chieh, IFoA’s first Asian President. He will also make his Presidential address at this conference and will expand on the important elements of IFoA’s new strategy. 

    Additionally, this landmark conference will showcase how the IFoA is reinventing itself to support its members to succeed and thrive in a digital age, within traditional businesses and beyond, as a global organisation. 

    Not to be missed by international industry players, opinion formers, academic and industry leaders, actuaries and non-actuaries.