National Assurance Company of Ireland
The National Assurance Company of Ireland was established in 1822 and incorporated under a royal charter sealed on November 10 1828.
National of Ireland annual report, 1887
The company grew quickly in its early years and, by 1846, was offering fire, life and marine insurances, and annuities (although the company ceased transacting marine insurance between 1870 and 1872). Business was initially confined to Ireland, but by 1872 had branched out overseas.
By 1904, the company was undertaking fire, accident, employers' liability, workmen's compensation, fidelity and burglary insurance. In 1906, a combination of heavy losses and mismanagement accepting risks in Europe, Canada and the United States lead to a call on the shareholders of £6 per share to enable the company to meet its liabilities.
Between 1904 and 1907, the company negotiated a number of agreements to transfer goodwill and agency connections in the UK and colonies to the Yorkshire Insurance Company Ltd, which became part of General Accident Fire & Life Assurance Corporation Ltd in 1967.
|1822||The National Assurance Company of Ireland is established|
|1828||The company is incorporated under a royal charter|
|1906||Heavy losses and mismanagement lead to a call on the shareholders|
|1904 - 1907||The company transfers business in the UK and colonies to the Yorkshire Insurance Company|
|1967||The Yorkshire becomes part of the General Accident Fire and Life Assurance Corporation|
Did you know...?
- Originally built in 1790, the company's head office at 3 College Green had previously been known as Daly's Club, a famous coffee house and gaming club. The building was connected to the Irish House of Lords by an underground passage and it was said that half the land in Ireland exchanged hands over the tables in its card room. The word "quiz" is purported to have originated there when a member successfully wagered that he could concoct a word which overnight would pass in to the English language. The member left the club in the early hours of Sunday morning and chalked QUIZ in large letters on all doorways leading to the principal city churches. While the story is curious enough to be true, the Oxford English Dictionary states,
"it is doubtful whether any reliance can be placed on the anecdote of its invention by Daly, a Dublin theatre manager."
- After the building was purchased by the National Assurance Company, the company's own fire engine operated from the Anglesey Street side entrance.
Subsidiaries and constituents*
|1780 - 1876||Liberal Annuity Company of Dublin|
|1837 - 1878||County & City of Dublin Widows Fund and General Annuity Endowment Society|
|1844 - 1882||Great Britain Mutual Life Assurance Society|
|1881 - 1884||London and North Western Fire|
|1881 - 1884||North Western Fire|
|1884 - 1887||Scottish Standard Fire|
* Please note the first date given is the date of the establishment of the company and the second date is the date the company was acquired or became a subsidiary. Where only one date is given the company was established as a subsidiary of the parent company. Where one date is preceded by a hyphen the date of the establishment of the company is not known.
Head office premises
|by 1828 - 1906||3 College Green, Dublin|
Staff and officials
|by 1828 - 1870 at least||Joseph Todhunter|
|by 1872 - 1890 at least||Harold Engelbach|
|by 1906||C Chevalier Cream|
|by 1906||C Chevalier Cream|
National of Ireland press advertisement, 1906
- Samual Bewley
- Simeon Boileau
- Nathaniel Callwell
- Richard Cane
- William English
- James Ferrier
- James Grey
- John Hone
- Robert Henry Kinhan
- Peter Alexander Leslie
- William Peter Lunell
- James McCall
- John McDonnell
- John O'Brien
- Thomas Pim
- George Roe
- Patrick Scanlan
- John Todhunter
- Andrew Vance
- Richard Williamson
- Thomas Wilson
Overseas branches and agencies
- London (by 1879)
- Manchester (by 1879)
- Liverpool (by 1879)
- Glasgow (by 1879)
- Leeds (1886)
- Nottingham (by 1888)
- San Francisco, USA (by 1890)
In the archives
The Aviva archive contains records relating to the running of the National Assurance Company of Ireland between 1828 and 1906. The collection includes annual reports and accounts, share certificates, charter, annuity deeds, press cuttings, correspondence and acquisition papers for subsidiaries.