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Source: The Illustrated London News, August 5, 1848
The inauguration dinner of this Society was given on Tuesday last, at the Brunswick Hotel, Blackwall, when about one hundred of its friends and supporters sat down to a sumptuous entertainment. After the usual toasts, the Chairman (Mr. Alfred Smee F.R.S.) proposed, in a short but appropriate speech, "Prosperity to the Gresham Assurance Society." In introducing the toast, the Chairman stated that the Society had been founded to fill a gap which at present existed, inasmuch as, besides the ordinary assurance business, the Society contemplated to assure all such lives as had been declined by other offices, and which, at the same time, were not actually diseased, at a small fixed extra premium, which would revert to them in the shape of bonus, should it hereafter be discovered that no additional risk existed. The toast was received with great applause; and many actuaries present stated that they not only approved of the scheme, but that they considered it would confer great benefit upon other offices, by extending life assurance. During the evening it was mentioned that contracts existed between the public and assurance offices to the amount of one hundred millions; and that two millions were paid annually amongst the respective claimants.