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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4675
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1816-1983
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 5.38 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Customs Annuity and Benevolent Fund Incorporated x Customs Fund


Administrative/Biographical history:

Customs and Excise Officers, including coastguards, did not have protection in case of death, injury, illness and old age. In response to this the Customs Annuity and Benevolent Fund was established by the Customs Office in 1816. The Fund was formed as a mutual insurance fund, to provide conditional benefit to widows, children and other immediate relatives of civil servants. Any person aged 16-65 was able to effect an Insurance upon their lives, answerable to their respective cases. The Fund was to be raised by subscription, both annual and occasional.

Initially named the 'Civil Fund' but 'Customs Annuity Fund' was substituted shortly after foundation, resulting from extension of the same benefits to all other departments under the Crown. Operated as 'Customs Annuity and Benevolent Fund' from 1879, 'Customs Fund' from 1893 and from 1896 it was incorporated by Act of Parliament as 'The Customs Annuity and Benevolent Fund Incorporated' but referred to as the 'Customs Fund'.

The Fund was based at Customs Office, London initially at City Gate House, Finsbury Square and later at Kings Beam House, Mark Lane, City of London.The organisation continued to operate as a Life Assurance and Pensions Mutual Company until it was acquired by National Friendly (National Deposit Friendly Society (NDFS), established in 1868) in 2004. The Customs Fund Division continued under NDFS.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Customs Annuity and Benevolent Fund Incorporated including minutes of Court with expenditure accounts; 'T,MandS' Committee minutes; balance sheets and Board of Trade Returns; Benevolent grants; Rules and rates, and Register of assurances and profit (with separate index volumes).

The records document benevolent payments to individuals and their families. The main series which can be used are the Court minutes (1816-1983) (LMA/4575/01/01) and the indexes to insurance holders (1891-198-) (LMA/4675/02/03).

The Court minutes contain letters to Committee and presentations to the Board giving proposals for insurance received from individuals; life losses; surrenders; mortgages and reversions; cash statements and expenditure and details of benevolent loans including amounts advanced, paid and outstanding.

The records provide an insight into the types of proposals for support received and whether these met with success. In minutes of 5 Sep 1889 a Benevolent Grant is ordered to be paid to the widow of John Fox of Liverpool, being the amount of Poundage contributed (5.8.10). In minutes of 10 Apr 1890 an application is shown to have been received from Henry Casserley for a loan of 20 in consideration of his being insured No.1318 (for repayment by instalments). Decision recorded that there is no power to make such a loan but that he may commute under Rule 6. An Index of insurance holders [LMA/4675/02/03/001] confirms just the one insurance number 1318 for Henry Casserley.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged in two sections as follows:
LMA/4675/A: Corporate
LMA/4675/B: Grants and members receiving funds

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Donated by National Deposit Friendly Society in 2014.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The National Archives (TNA) hold the records of the Boards of Customs, Excise, Customs and Excise and HM Revenue and Customs. Records of the Customs Annuity and Benevolent Fund include correspondence and papers of the Government Actuary's Department; Assurance Companies' Returns to the Board of Trade and records relating to the Customs Annuity and Benevolent Fund Act.

Publication note:

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 June 2016.

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