The insurance of Musical London and the Sun Fire Office 1710-1779

Lance Whitehead, Jenny Nex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The core collection of the Sun Fire Office on deposit at the City of London Corporation, London Metropolitan Archives, consists of some 1,200 volumes of personal insurance policies covering the years 1710–1863. All surviving registers for the years 1710–79 have been scrutinised and over 650 policies held by musicians, musical instrument makers and others directly involved in the musical life of London transcribed. While some important individuals are absent, fire insurance records generally encompass a broader spectrum of society than poll books and rate books, enabling the role of women, tenants and foreigners to be highlighted. The accompanying commentary also demonstrates the extent to which these records chart the growth of London musical life, especially during the 1760s and 1770s.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-216
JournalGalpin Society Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • London
  • 18th-century
  • insurance
  • musical instrument
  • theatre
  • publisher

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