Ken's column: Victorians knew how to get things done

13 Jul 2016

When time permits, I enjoy browsing antique shops, where one of the fascinations is that you never know what you might find. On a recent visit, I unearthed a letter sent in 1864 by Edinburgh Life Assurance to a policyholder.

It was dated 2 June 1864, and provided a detailed answer to the client’s letter of 31 May. As it had been sent from Gloucestershire, the earliest it could possibly have arrived was 1 June.

Yet the handwritten reply on 2 June set out the bonus due of £9/15s on his £100 policy and advised him that if he died, this sum would be added to his policy or, if he liked, he could take £3/4s as a cash sum now, or choose to have his annual premium reduced by 5s 4pence, in which case the amount payable on death would remain at £100.

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