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Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): CLC/B/005/ES05
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1624-2005
Level of description: Sub-fonds
Extent: 3.66 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Eagle Star Insurance Co Ltd
British Dominions Marine Insurance Co
British Dominions General
Eagle and British Dominions
Eagle Insurance Co
Eagle, Star and British Dominions


Administrative/Biographical history:

Eagle Star was founded in 1904 by Edward Mortimer Mountain, a Lloyd's broker. It began as a marine business under the name British Dominions Marine Insurance Company. Its origins began in 1807 through its constituent companies. Within the first ten years, the company had expanded into general business, fire and motor insurance. In 1911 the name changed to British Dominions General. New departments were opened for accident and employers' liability in 1914. In 1916 the company further expanded into life business. In May 1917 the company became Eagle and British Dominions to reflect the acquisition of Eagle Insurance Company in December 1916. In December 1917, following the merger with the Star, the name changed to Eagle, Star and British Dominions. In 1937 the company name was shortened to Eagle Star.

Edward Mountain was knighted for his contribution to insurance in 1918, by which time the company had become the largest composite offices in the United Kingdom. Advertising was a key component in the success of the company, mainly through the work of A F Shepherd, Publicity Manager. All-In policy (1915) and Victory War Loan (1917) were launched with high-level publicity campaigns. Between the First and Second World Wars further schemes included free newspaper insurance, Pluvius weather underwriting business, and an department specialising in women's insurance needs. Expansion saw the development of a network of agencies and branches in United Kingdom and abroad, supported by local boards consisting of business and professional men from each region. After 1945 further extensions to the network were made alongside the establishment and acquisition of companies world-wide including specialist insurance companies such as Navigators and General, and Home and Overseas.

Sir Edward Mountain died in 1948 and business continued under the leadership of his son Sir Brian Mountain. Sir Brian's son Denis succeeded him as Chairman in 1974 until his retirement in 1985. Staff clubs included Eagle Dramatic and Operatic Society. This began with Norwood Club Dramatic and Musical Society in 1921 from staff at Eagle Star British Dominions and Cox's Bank. In 1927 the society was closed and EDOS was established. The last production was 1939.

Eagle Star's first head office was at 1 Threadneedle Street, City of London (1925). With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, administrative functions were evacuated to Cobham Park, Surrey, while other departments were housed in the Cobham area. After 1945, the head office at Threadneedle Street was rebuilt and re-opened in 1968. New administrative head office and computer centre was opened in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, as Eagle Star House. The name changed to Eagle Star Centre in 1994. The building became known as UK Life Tower in 1999 and was sold in 2003.

In 1984 Eagle Star became part of B.A.T Industries plc and saw diversification into financial services. In 1998 it became part of Zurich Financial Services Group.


Scope and content/abstract:

Premises records of Eagle Star Insurance Company, including papers, correspondence, plans and photographs relating to office premises, branches in England and Scotland, and property investments.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

These records are arranged as follows:
CLC/B/005/ES05/02 Offices
CLC/B/005/ES05/03 Branches
CLC/B/005/ES05/04 Property Investments.

Conditions governing access:

48 hours notice required for access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Accessioned as part of the Eagle Star Insurance Company archive.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For other records of Eagle Star Insurance Company see CLC/B/005/ES01: Corporate; CLC/B/005/ES02: Shares; CLC/B/005/ES03: Financial and Accounting; CLC/B/005/ES05: Premises; CLC/B/005/ES06: Staff; CLC/B/005/ES07: Acquisitions. Part of the records of the Eagle Star Insurance Company Limited, CLC/B/005.

Publication note:

Eagle Star, A Guide to its History and Archivesprepared by Zurich Group Archives.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Added to AIM25 April 2012.

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