Catalogue description Records of Sun Fire Office

This record is held by London Metropolitan Archives: City of London

Details of SUN
Reference: SUN
Title: Records of Sun Fire Office

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.


For guidelines on finding and using the Sun fire insurance policy registers (CLC/B/192/F/001/MS11936) please see Information Leaflet Number 48: Fire Insurance Records

Date: 1706 - 1996
Held by: London Metropolitan Archives: City of London, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Sun Fire Office, 1710-1891

Exchange House Fire Office, 1708-1710

Sun Insurance Office Ltd, 1891-1959

Sun Alliance Group, 1959-1996

Royal and Sun Alliance, 1996-

Physical description: 2780 units
Access conditions:

Records marked "access restricted" are subject to access conditions. Please enquire to London Metropolitan Archives, via

Immediate source of acquisition:

MS numbers: 11931 - 11937a, 11963, 11963a, 12019 - 12025, 12160 - 12162, 14106 - 14119, 14386, 15030 - 15058, 15575, 15671, 15742, 17816, 18087 - 18089, 18243 - 18253, 18261 - 18272, 18314 - 18315, 18351, 18846 - 18864, 19494 - 19495, 20595, 21075, 21376, 21595 - 21596, 24712 - 24717, 30750 - 30753, 31522, 31522a, 31688

  • London
  • Insurance
Administrative / biographical background:

The Sun Fire Office originated in a business established by Charles Povey in 1708 and known as the Exchange House Fire Office. This office used the Sun symbol as its firemark and became commonly known as the Sun Fire Office. The business was taken over by the Company of London Insurers in 1710 and formally constituted as a partnership known as the Sun Fire Office.


The company has had a number of addresses within the City of London. Initially the business of the new company was conducted from a room in Causey's coffee house in St Paul's Churchyard, moving to an office in Sweetings Rents near the Royal Exchange in 1711. The city office subsequently moved to Threadneedle street (1727 - 1763), Cornhill (1763 - 1766), Bank Street (1766 - 1843 and Bartholomew Street (1843 onwards). In 1726, the Craig's Court branch in Charing Cross was opened to deal with business in the west of London. In 1793 a separate department was set up at headquarters to deal with country policies. Some of the records reflect these divisions.


The company set up its first foreign agency in 1836 and its first major overseas market was in Germany. It expanded its business outside Europe with the setting up of an agency at Smyrna in Turkey in 1863. Business also expanded to include India, the Far East, China, Australasia, the United States, South Africa, the West Indies, South America and Canada


In 1891, the office changed its name to Sun Insurance Office ltd. It merged with the Alliance Insurance Company in 1959 to become part of the Sun Alliance Group. Since 1996 has been part of the Royal and Sun Alliance Group plc.

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