Policy books, policies, photographs etc. relating to the Sun Fire Office and insurance companies purchased by it, deposited by the Sun Alliance and London insurance Group 18 July 1979
Administrative / biographical background:
The Sun Fire Office was founded in London in April 1710 and is now the oldest existing insurance company in the world. This collection contains the policy books of its Bristol agency from 1820. These include details of policies for private individuals, businesses, schools, chapels and some public buildings and institutions, e.g. Bath Assembly Rooms (37165/1/12) and Bristol Zoo (37165/1/11) and Bristol and Exeter Railway Company (37165/1/10). A Branch Office was established here in 1880 dealing with the West of England and following the success of this branch offices were set up in other cities.
There are historical notes in this collection relating to the following local fire offices purchased by the Sun Fire Office:
Date of Purchase Name When founded
1827 Bath Fire Office 1767
1835 Salamander Fire Office Society- so called from 1822, formerly Wilts. and Western Assurance Society 1790
1837 Bristol Crown Fire (or Insurance) Office 1718
1838 Bath Sun Fire Office 1776
The Sun Life Assurance Society is a separate life business company founded in 1810 by the Directors of the Sun [see 37165/6/1 for a printed treatise on life assurance by the actuary to this company].
Under an act of 1891 the Sun Fire Office became the Sun Insurance Office with new powers under which an Accident Department was created in 1907. In 1960 the Sun merged with Alliance Insurance [founded 1824] to form Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd. and as a result of a subsequent merger with the London Assurance [formed 1720] is now part of the Sun Alliance and London Insurance Group.
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