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

  • 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

    Fully booked.

     

    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.

  • Joint IFoA and SOAT Professional Skills Training event - Bangkok

    Thai Life Insurance PCL, 13th Floor, Meeting Room 13/2, 123 Ratchadaphisek Road, Din Daeng, Bangkok 10400, Thailand  
    7 February 2020

    Spaces available

    This session is jointly organised by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and the Society of Actuaries of Thailand (SOAT).

    Video case studies will be selected from the IFoA’s 2019/2020 online content which covers a range of topics under an overarching theme of “A Trusted Profession”. This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Life, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

     

  • Cyber Risk Event

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    10 February 2020

    Spaces available

    What do good cyber practices look like and, to what extent, can we as an industry implement these operationally and recognise these for underwriting?

  • KSS event: Where now for pensions?

    Royal London Group, 1 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DG
    18 February 2020

    Spaces available

    With a single party government at Westminster holding a comfortable majority, and with the first phase of Brexit complete, the potential for radical reforms of the pensions landscape is increased. 

    Former Pensions Minister Steve Webb discusses what changes we can expect to see in pensions including in state pensions, pension tax relief, automatic enrolment and the workplace pension landscape.

  • 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.

  • Spaces available

    Investors globally are embracing ESG but what does this involve and can ESG be measured? Louise Dudley, Global Equity Portfolio Manager at Hermes Investment Management will outline the taxonomy often used when talking about ESG (exclusion, screening, engagement, sustainable, impact, responsible investing), talk about the importance of stewardship and engagement, and showcase evidence to the question as to whether ESG adds va

  • KSS event: How is Scotland’s population changing and what are the implications?

    New Register House, 3 West Register Street, Edinburgh
    5 March 2020

    Spaces available

    The National Records of Scotland (NRS) collects, preserves and produces information about Scotland's people and history to inform current and future generations - work that underpins the fabric of Scottish society and tells the story of our nation. This KSS talk will explore the following and other areas impacting Scotland’s changing population, and assess the potential implications of the changes:

  • Highlights of the Life Conference 2019 - London

    America Square Conference Centre, 17, One Crosswall, America Square, London EC3N 2LB  
    11 March 2020

    Spaces available

    This event will cover the highlights from last year's Life Conference 2019 held in Dublin. The Conference Committee has reviewed session feedback and has put together a high-quality technical programme featuring the best-reviewed sessions from the conference. Book now to ensure your place.

  • Board agenda: Why Responsible Investing, ESG, and Climate Change matters to Pension Funds, Companies

    Staple Inn, 4 High Holborn, Holborn, London. WC1V 6DR, UK
    19 March 2020

    Few spaces available

    Recent years have seen ESG, Climate Change, and Responsible Investing thrust onto the corporate agenda in every boardroom. The same also be said for pension funds. Expectations of how companies should respond are high and NEDs on Boards are expected to adapt and adjust their guidance to companies accordingly. What does this mean for Actuaries serving as NEDs and Trustees?

  • KSS event: A Cashless Society- Benefits, Risks, Issues and Developments

    Deloitte, 4th Floor, Saltire Court, 20 Castle Terrace
    19 March 2020

    Spaces available

    Speaker: Iain Collier, Chair of the CSWP

    The talk will look to cover the following: Progression towards a Cashless Society • Developments home and overseas • Benefits, Risks and Issues • Crypto Currencies and Central Bank Digital Currencies.

    There will be an extended Q&A session at the end of the event.

  • Spaces available

    What are the advantages of using artificial intelligence (AI) in investing? What are the differences between traditional quant and AI? This new webinar, part of a series of four webinars leading to the annual Finance & Investment Conference 2020, discusses challenges and the future of AI in the investment sector.

    We will look at:

  • Spring Lecture 2020, Edinburgh - Vicky Pryce

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

    Spaces available

    The Brexit Budget: What next for the UK economy? Please join us for our annual Spring Lecture presented by Vicky Pryce in Edinburgh. Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

  • Spring Lecture 2020: Live Streaming at Staple Inn - Vicky Pryce

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1 V 7QJ
    25 March 2020

    Spaces available

    This event will be live streamed from Edinburgh. 

    The Brexit Budget: What next for the UK economy? Please join us for our annual Spring Lecture presented by Vicky Pryce in Edinburgh. Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

  • Spring Lecture 2020: Live Streaming

    Webinar
    25 March 2020

    Spaces available

    What next in Economic Policy? Please join us on 25 March 2020 for the live stream of our annual Spring Lecture presented by Vicky Pryce in Edinburgh. Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

  • SIAS Event: CMI Update

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    1 April 2020

    Spaces available

    Following the release of the updated CMI Mortality Projection Model, CMI_2019, the CMI Mortality Projections Committee will lead a discussion on future mortality improvements.

  • Finance and Investment Conference 2020

    Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Pl, London NW1 4LE
    05-05 May 2020
    Spaces available

    Join us at this year’s Finance and Investment Conference in London that will focus on ESG. The environmental, social and governance (ESG) space is growing rapidly and increasingly moving centre stage. In many cases, it is now an essential part of policy and central to the way stakeholders make decisions for the long term to ensure retention of clients, manage risk better, and ensure more economically efficient and sustainable investment returns.

    ESG factors cover a wide range of areas reflecting how vital consideration of these factors are part of wider systemic risks.

  • Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020

    The Grand Brighton, 97-99 Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 2FW
    02-03 June 2020
    Spaces available

    The Protection, Health and Care Conference is an annual conference aimed at all insurance professionals with a passion for harnessing insurance risk in their organisations. The conference uses a combination of workshops by individuals who work at the coalface and ‘big name’ experts to explore how innovation, technological/medical advances, the political landscape and other market development will impact the Protection, Health and Care markets.

     

  • 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

    Join us at the IFoA Asia Conference 2020 at CCEC Nexus, Kuala Lumpur where intellectual thought leaders, senior industry players, opinion formers, academics, actuaries and non-actuaries from across Asia and beyond are expected to attend. This year's landmark conference promises to an exciting one as our first Asian President-elect, Tan Suee Chieh will, as newly appointed president of the IFoA, use his presidential address to highlight the two key pillars of the IFoA’s emerging strategy:

    • the reinvention of the profession in terms of its skillsets and mind-sets so that we can thrive in an increasing range of domains in a digital age;
    • the widening application of actuarial science in achieving social impact and sustainability goals.

    We are also delighted to announce that the Honourable Mr. Lim Guan Eng, Minister of Finance, Malaysia, will be the guest of honour at this year's conference.

    Early bird registration is now open until 1 March.  10% group discounts are offered to a minimum of six IFoA members booking in a single transaction.  Limited spaces are available, so please sign-up early to avoid disappointment.