Article ID: CBB001552092

Mathematicians and the Early English Life Insurance Industry (2015)


Motivated by a manuscript find in the Macclesfield Collection held by Cambridge University Library, the role of mathematicians in the emerging life insurance industry in eighteenth-century England is examined. Two early life insurance societies are examined here in detail. In one, a prominent mathematician's arguments were ignored thus confirming the generally accepted view among historians of insurance that the role of mathematicians at this time was minor or non-existent. For the other case, the promoter of two insurance schemes used his mathematical knowledge to design the operation of his insurance plans thus showing that mathematical activity was at least not non-existent. The manuscript find still leaves the question of what the motivation and impact was of the major writers on life annuities during the first half of the eighteenth century. This is addressed by considering the major economic background of early eighteenth-century England---land and property.

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Authors & Contributors
Craik, Alex D. D.
Borgato, Maria Teresa
Hall, A. Rupert
Ashworth, William J.
Cormack, Lesley B.
Alexander, Amir R.
Historia Mathematica
Bollettino di Storia delle Scienze Matematiche
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Science and Education
American Mathematical Monthly
Mariner's Mirror
Oxford University Press
Harvard University Press
New York, City University of
Science and society
Science education and teaching
Euler, Leonhard
Lagrange, Joseph Louis
Newton, Isaac
Galois, Évariste
Vilant, Nicolas
Napoleon I, Emperor of France
Time Periods
18th century
19th century
17th century
20th century
20th century, early
16th century
Great Britain
London (England)
Cambridge University
Oxford University
Astronomical Bureau (China)

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