These documents can offer a peek into our ancestors lives and are a wonderful addition to your genealogy if one of your family names features in the database.
There would be an outcry these days if a house was on fire and the fire brigade simply watched it burn down because the owners hadn’t contributed to the fire station funds!! But that was exactly what happened in the 18th & 19th century. A number of insurance companies owned teams of fire fighters dotted around the country mainly in the larger towns and cities, these fire fighters with their hand pump engines would race to see if the burning building displayed one of their plaques, if they did then they fought the fire, if it didn’t then they simply watched. Simple really
The National Archives A2A website has a list of those living in London who insured with The Sun Fire Office I am not convinced it is a complete list, but there is quite a large number of names and addresses so well worth a look if you have London ancestry. There is a good brief description and history of the collection at the beginning of the page.
I did a search for the surname Pottinger and found the following ….
16 August 1837
Insured: William Pottinger, 27 Queen Street, Cheapside, tailor and draper
Other property or occupiers: Parish of Great Pornder, Essex (Law and others); Parish of Bloxham, Oxon (baker)
No doubt ordering a copy of the whole document from the London Metropolitan Archives who have the originals would give much more detail. I wonder if this set of documents might find its way onto Ancestry under their agreement with the LMA?