A George III silver-gilt Pass for the Westminster Fire Office insurance company.
Westminster Fire Office Insurance.
An unmarked silver-gilt Pass for Thomas Chamberlain as Auditor of the company.
A number of these passes, given to directors and auditors of the company, survive but this is earlier than any other so far noted. The later examples [after 1780] are generally part or fully hallmarked.
Chamberlain had been one of the company’s auditors in 1766/7 and was elected a director in 1770. This pass covers the year 1773 to 1774 when he served as auditor for a second term.
The company was established in 1717 and had its offices in Bedford Street, Covent Garden. It would seem likely that the Thomas Chamberlain on this medal was the same Thomas Chamberlain of Greek Street, Soho, who was elected one of the chief burgesses of the City of Westminster in 1770.
An extensive archive of the company’s papers survives in the City of Westminster Archives Office. The collection of director’s and other medals which belonged to the Westminster Fire Office became part of the Sun Alliance Company’s collection when that company absorbed the Westminster company. The whole Sun Alliance Collection was sold by Christie’s London on the 19th May 2005. Two more director’s medals, the earliest a silver unmarked example present to James Crofts as a Director in 1778, are in the Montague Guest Collection in the British Museum.
Diameter – 4cm.; Weight – 32.20 gms.