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Shropshire Archives is open in a phased way from 21 April 2021.

Salop Fire Office insurance records

November 18, 202010:55 amLeave a Comment

Coming soon…

Shropshire Archives holds a series of 12 books listing fire insurance policies taken out with Salop Fire Office between 1780 and 1889. The policies cover property in both Shropshire and Montgomeryshire.

All of the books have been digitised and work is currently underway with a team of virtual volunteers to produce a detailed index to make them fully searchable. This will be a long process as there are over 3000 images!

The main information included for each policy is as follows:

  • Date
  • Policy number
  • Policy holder
  • Property
  • Tenant (if different to the policy holder)
  • Value of the insurance

Further details like the occupation of the policy holder or tenant are also sometimes included. While a full address is not usually given for the property being insured, the name of the town or village where it is located is recorded, often with the street name for larger places like Shrewsbury. The policies also tend to list what the building was being used for, e.g. as a dwelling house, workshop, stables etc.

The policies were usually taken out by the property owner and sometimes list multiple properties and their tenants under one policy, but occasionally they seem to have been taken out by the tenant wishing to insure household goods or stock rather than the property itself.

While the entries do vary a little in the level of detail, they are a great source for both family and house history.

Four typical policies can be seen in the image below.

4791/1/1 Salop Fire Office policy book no. 1, pages 18-19

Number 118 dates from July 8th 1780 and was taken out by Charles Stanier Esquire of Shrewsbury to insure his dwelling house on St John’s Hill for £300, household goods amounting to £200 and a stable on Swan Hill for £100.

Number 119, also of July 8th 1780, was taken out by Philip Wolley Esquire of Shrewsbury to insure his house in the markett place occupied by Mr Wheeler Grocer and Druggist for £500, with a stable and offices insured for a further £50. A later addition increased the value of the insurance by another £350, in part for the above properties and in part for the addition of a warehouse.

Number 120, again of July 8th 1780, was taken out by Mr Richard Spendlove of Shrewsbury, cooper, to insure his dwelling house in Mardol for £300, household goods for £70 and utensils and stock for £30.

Finally, number 121, again of July 8th 1780, was taken out by Mr John Jones of Ludlow, glover, to insure household goods amounting to £50 and stock in trade for £250.

Get involved…

If you’d like to help with the indexing project, please get in touch with us at [email protected] and we will email you with further details.

Written by meriel

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