Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Baylis, Edward

BAYLIS, EDWARD (1791–1861), mathematician and founder of insurance companies, commenced life as a clerk in the Alliance Insurance Office. He founded a series of life offices between the years 1838 and 1854 (the Victoria, 1838, the English and Scottish Law, 1839, the Anchor, 1842, the Candidate, 1843, the Professional, 1847, the Trafalgar, 1851, the Waterloo, 1852, the British Nation, 1854), in many of which he acted as manager and actuary. In all he expected to realise results which increasing competition made impossible; shareholders and policyholders were promised extravagant advantages which they never enjoyed. As a consequence, all Baylis's offices disappeared except one—the English and Scottish Law—which still survives. Baylis wrote (in 1844) a skilful book on the ‘Arithmetic of Annuities and Life Assurance,’ adapted more particularly to students. He died in 1861, aged 70, at the Cape of Good Hope, where he had settled in his old age.

[C. Walford's Insurance Cyclopædia.]

C. W.