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duced to one half of its present height, would harmonize abundantly better with the whole. The inside is light and airy, laid out in a very good stile, and finished with great propriety of decoration : I could wish though that either the statues were executed in a better manner, or that the City would condescend to excuse the setting up any more: for nothing can be more ridiculous than to hurt the eye with a fault, in the affectation of a beauty."
From the Royal Exchange, we pass the end of Castle Alley *, to Bank Buildings; a range of handsome structures, occupied by stock-brokers, lottery offices, and the Sun FIRE OFFICE ; for insuring houses and other buildings, goods, wares, and merchandize, and ships in harbour, in dock, or building, and craft from loss and damage by fire,
This being the principal of many useful institutions of its kind, we shall more diffusely describe its principle. Insurance from loss or damage by fire tends to the safety of property in general, and to the preservation of many families in particular, who otherwise might be exposed to poverty and ruin: and the extending so laudable an undertaking (that every part of the nation might have the benefit thereof
* Stow writes, that here stood a large stone house, called the Castle; and was used as a tavern, which had a passage from Cornhill to Threadneedle Street ; part of it was taken down for enlarging the Exchange. This structure was supposed by some to have been an antient church ; “ whereof," as he says, “ there was no proportion :” others imagined it was a Jew's house, “ as though none but Jews had dwelt in stone houses ; that opinion was therefore without warrant.”
For, besides the strong building of stone houses, against invasion of them in the night, when the watches were kept, in the first year of Richard I. to prevent the casualties by fire, which often had happened in the City when the houses were built of timber, and covered with reed and straw, Henry Fitz Alwine being mayor, it was decreed, that “ from thenceforth no man should build within the City but of stone, until a certain height, and to cover the same building with slate, or brent tile. And this was the very same cause of such stope buildings, whereof many have remained till our time; bu: for winning of ground, they have been taken down, and in place of some of them, being low, as but two stories above the ground, many houses of four or five stories high are placed." Stow, by Strype, ii. 463.
was, in great measure, owing to this society, they being the first that attempted the insurance of goods, and that of houses, beyond the limits of the bills of mortality. And, in order to render the security unexceptionable, the sum of one hundred thousand pounds is raised, to be a fund for
The several Heads of Insurance. 1. Common Insurances.-Buildings covered with slate, &c. and built on all sides with brick or stone; and goods, merchandise, and trades therein, not hazardous.
2. Hazardous Insurances.-Timber or plaster buildings; also thatched barns and out-houses, containing stock or implements of husbandry; or brick or stone buildings, wherein hazardous goods or trades are deposited or carried on.
3. Doubly-hazardous Insurances.--All timber or plaster buildings, wherein hazardous goods, or trades are deposited or carried on.
To prevent frauds, persons insured by this office shall receive no benefit from their policies, if the same houses or goods, &c. are insured in any other office, unless such insurance be first specified and allowed by an indorsement on the back of the policy, in which case this office will pay their rateable proportion on any loss or damage; and if any person or persons shall insure his, her, or their mills, build. ings, manufactories, or houses; utensils, stock in trade, goods, wares, or merchandize; and shall cause the same to be described otherwise than as they really are, so as the same be insured at a lower premium than the special hazards may require, or at a lower rate than proposed in the table of premiums, such insurance shall be of no force, nor shall the person insuring receive any benefit by such policy, in case of any loss or damage.
No loss or damage to be paid on fire happening by any invasion, foreign enemy, civil commotion, or any military or usurped power whatever.
When any person dies, the policy and interest therein shall continue to the heir, executor, or administrator, re
spectively, spectively, to whom the right of the premises insured shall belong ; provided, before any new payment be made, such heir, executor, or administrator, do procure his or her right to be indorsed on the policy, at the said office, or the premium be paid in the name of the said heir, executor, or administrator.
Persons insured, sustaining any loss or damage by fire, are forthwith to give notice thereof at the office, and as soon as possible afterwards deliver in as particular an account of their loss and damage as the nature of the case will admit of, and make proof of the same by their oath or affirmation, according to the form practised in the said office, and by their books of accounts, or other proper vouchers, as shall be reasonably required, and procure a certificate under the hands of the minister and church-wardens, together with some other reputable inhabitants of the parish, not concerned in such loss, importing, that they are well acquainted with the character and circumstances of the person or persons insured, and do know or verily believe, that he, she, or they, really and by misfortune, without any fraud or evil practice, have sustained, by such fire, the loss and damage, as his, her, or their loss, to the value therein mentioned; but, till such affidavit and certificate of such the insured's loss shall be made and produced, the loss-money shall not be payable. And, if there appear any fraud or false swearing, such sufferers shall be excluded from all be. nefit by their policies. And, in case any difference arise between the office and the insured, touching any loss or damage, such difference shall be submitted to the judgment and determination of arbitrators indifferently chosen, whose award, in writing, shall be conclusive and binding to all parties.
When any loss is settled and adjusted, the insured will receive immediate satisfaction for the same without any deduction or discount, and are not liable to ady covenants or calls for contributions to make good losses.
VOL. II. No. 32.
Annual Premiums to be paid for Insurances. Sums insured, not exceeding 3000l. Common, 2s. per cent. Hazardous, 3s. per cent. Doubly hazardous, 5s. per cent.-Sums not exceeding 6000l. Common, 2s. 6d. per cent. Hazardous, 4s. per cent. Doubly hazardous, 6s. per cent. -10,0001. Common, 2s.6d. per cent. Sums above 60001. hazardous and doubly hazardous, may be insured by special agreement. Farming stock, on any part of the farm, insured under general policies, without the average-clause, at 2s.6d. per cent.-N. B. Any barn, or other out-building, and the farming stock therein, may be insured under one sum: the premium is 3s.
The engineers and firemen of the Sun Fire Office, in conjunction with those of the Royal Exchange and Phenix fire offices, patrol nightly throughout the year the different districts of the metropolis, which salutary measure (the only institution of the kind, and supported at a very considerable expense by these three offices only,) has been productive of the greatest public benefits, it having been the means of checking numerous fires in their infancy, which otherwise might have been attended with the most destructive consequences. So that assistance may be had at all hours, in this dreadful calamity.
By thus stating at one view, the objects of safety, and the easy means held out by this respectable corporation to secure that safety from the most lamentable of all calamities; a system of public spirit and mode of profit is displayed which is almost unknown in any other commercial city. The other insurance corporations are nearly upon the same benevolent plan; and in future we shall only notice them as they occur in our rout, and mention their several variations.
The opposite corner tó Bank Buildings, forming the point of Cornhill and Lombard Street, claims peculiar notice. It was the first residence of Thomas Guy, Esq. sole founder of the hospital which bears his name.
At this small shop, with a stock of only 2001. did he commence and continue business in the most penurious manner,
an old newspaper, or proof sheet of printing, serving him instead of a table-cloth; yet this industrious speculator accumulated such sums as enabled him to leave 200,0001, for the establishment of the hospital; beside immense property for other benevolent uses; and he rose to be member of parliament for Tamworth, where he was born.
Proceeding eastwardly through Cornhill, the first object of attention is the Globe FIRE OFFICE, the establishment of which comprehends granting insurances against loss or damage by fire, insurances on lives and survivorships, the endowment of children, and immediate, deferred, and progressive annuities. The capital of this company is one million sterling. They insure houses fired by lightening.
Pope's HEAD ALLEY, at present inhabited by stock brokers, notaries, and mercantile persons, was formerly occupied by a vast stone building, before the great fire; which was undoubtedly a residence of the antient kings of England, and reached to the western angle of the street. It was distinguished by the arms of England, before any quarterings were annexed, supported by two angels, “ fair and largely graven in stone over the door or stall of one great house.” Another division of the structure was the Pope's Head tavern, the front of which was toward the south in Lombard Street, the third division was called the Stone House, This range of buildings was supposed to be the re_ sidence of King John ; “ which might be so," says Stow, « for I find, in a written copy of Matthew Paris's His. tory, that, in the year 1232, Henry III. sent Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent, to Cornhill in London, there to answer all matters objected to him; when he wisely acquitted himself. This being a royal domain, is farther proved by the following particular, which states that Ed. ward the Third gave his large Hospitium, or place for the extertainment of guests, in Lombard Street, to the college of St. Stephen, Westminster, in the twenty-second year of his reign.
On the same side of the way, facing the Exchange, is the BRITISH FIRE OFFICE, and WESTMINSTER Society, for insurance on lives and survivorships. The variatoin of the