Collection of Reports and Proposals relating to the Scottish Widows' Fund and Life Assurance Society

Scope and Content

The material is composed of: medical report on James Martin, writer, Edinburgh, by P. Fairbairn, M.D., 1830; proposal and declaration for an assurance on the life of Andrew Duncan, writer, Lerwick, Shetland, 1830, with manuscript additions by J. Grieg; proposal for an insurance on the life of T. Thomson, painter, Dalkeith, with manuscript additions by John McKean, and including a report on the 18th annual general court of the Society, 1833; printed form relating to the Society, signed by J. Turner, Greenock, 1833; proposals for insurance on the lives of R. A. O. Dalyell, 1834, A. Graham, 1835, W. M. Gunn, 1835, and J. H. Rayner, 1838; and, a medical report for the Society on Harriet, Duchess of Roxburgh, 1839.

Administrative / Biographical History

Scottish Widows - or the Scottish Widows Fund and Equitable Assurance Society - was established in 1815, in Edinburgh, close to today's Chambers Street. This had been the outcome of an idea put forward by a group of prominent Scotsmen in March 1812 - that of setting up a fund for the financial protection of the relatives of deceased clergyman and schoolmasters. The fund would protect 'widows, sisters and other females' from poverty, and would be achieved by insuring capital sums on lives. From the outset, the company envisaged extending its benefits to all parts of Britain. By September 1821, funds had reached £20,000, and by 1824 when Sir Walter Scott was sold a policy funds had reached £76,000. In 1845 they stood at £1,700,000. Today (in 2002) Scottish Widows is part of Lloyds TSB Group, and the Scottish Widows Group includes Scottish Widows Plc., Scottish Widows Annuities Ltd., and Scottish Widows Services Ltd., all registered at 69 Morrison Street, Edinburgh EH3 8YF. Scottish Widows' Fund and Life Assurance Society is Company Z2 incorporated by Act of Parliament.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.

Acquisition Information

Roxburgh report has Accession no. E59.29.


Item at Dk.6.19/1-2 unseen (October 2002). The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) Scottish Widows' History. Full-text [online].  Scottish Widows [Accessed 12 September 2002].

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.

Related Material

The UK National Register of Archives (NRA), updated by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, notes: board minutes, financial, committee, and policy records, circulars and letter books, legal, marketing and agency branch records, etc., 1812-1970, Private, Ref. NRA(S)0580 3413 NRA 14812 Scottish Widows, see NRA(S)3413; and, Maryport area policy registers, 1874-1893, Cumbria Record Office, Carlisle Headquarters, see County Archivist's report 4 June 1976.