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INSUBRES—INSURANCE

fifteen were named in the Instrument itself; and Cromwell and the council were empowered to add six. To fill vacancies parliament must name six persons, of whom the council would select two, the choice between these two being left to the protector. A parliament was to meet on the 3rd of September 1654, and until that date the protector with the consent of the council could make ordinances which would have the force of laws. After the meeting of parliament, however, he had no power of legislation, nor had he any veto upon its acts, the utmost he could do being to delay new legislation for twenty days. A new parliament must be called “once in every third year,” elaborate arrangements being made to prevent any failure in this respect, and for five months it could not be dissolved save with its own consent. The parliament, composed of a single chamber, was to consist of 460 members—400 for England and Wales, and 30 each for Scotland and Ireland—and the representative system was entirely remodelled, growing towns sending members for the first time, and many small boroughs being disfranchised. A large majority of the English members, 265 out of 400, were to be elected by the counties, where voters must possess land or personal property of the value of £200, while in the boroughs the franchise remained unaltered. In Scotland and Ireland the arrangement of the representation was left to the protector and the council. Roman Catholics and all concerned in the Irish rebellion were permanently disfranchised and declared incapable of sitting in parliament, and those who had taken part in the war against the parliament were condemned to a similar disability during the first four parliaments. The protector was empowered to raise a revenue of £200,000 in addition to a sum sufficient to maintain the navy and an army of 30,000 men, and religious liberty was granted “provided this liberty be not extended to Popery or Prelacy.” The chief officers of state were to be chosen with the consent of parliament, and a parliament must be summoned at once in case of war. The practical effect of the Instrument was to entrust the government of the three countries to the parliament for five months out of every three years, and to the protector and the council for the remainder of the time. Although the Instrument bristled with possibilities of difference between parliament and protector, “it is impossible,” as Gardiner says, “not to be struck with the ability of its framers.”

Having issued many ordinances and governed in accordance with the terms of the Instrument, Cromwell duly met parliament on the 3rd of September, and on the following day he urged the members to give it the force of a parliamentary enactment. Many representatives objected to the provision placing the supreme power in the hands of a single person and of parliament, a discussion which was futile, as clause XII. of the Instrument declared that “the persons elected shall not have power to alter the government as it is hereby settled in one single person and a parliament.” The proceedings were soon stopped by Cromwell, who on the 12th of September explained that there was a difference between “fundamentals” which they might not, and “circumstantials” which they might, alter. He concluded by stating that they would be excluded unless they subscribed a recognition to be true to the protector and the commonwealth, and to respect the terms of clause XII. Over three hundred members took the required step; but they proceeded to alter the Instrument in other ways, and over the question of the control of the army they were soon in sharp conflict with the protector. At length, on the 22nd of January 1655, Cromwell, counting twenty weeks as five months, dissolved parliament.

Regarding the Instrument as still in force the protector sought for a time to rule in accordance with its provisions; but new difficulties and growing discontent forced him to govern in a more arbitrary fashion. However, in July 1656 he issued writs for a second parliament which met in the following September. Many members, men of advanced views, were excluded by the council of state, acting on the strength of clause XVII., which declared that those elected must be “persons of known integrity, fearing God, and of good conversation.” The remainder discussed the question of the future government of the country, and in May 1657 Cromwell assented to the Humble Petition and Advice, which supplanted the Instrument of Government. Gardiner says the Instrument was “the first of hundreds of written constitutions which have since spread over the world, of which the American is the most conspicuous example, in which a barrier is set up against the entire predominance of any one set of official persons, by attributing strictly limited functions to each.”

The text of the Instrument is printed in S. R. Gardiner’s Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution (Oxford, 1899). See also S. R. Gardiner, History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate, vols. ii. and iii. (London, 1897–1901); L. von Ranke, Englische Geschichte (1859–1868); and T. Carlyle, Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches (London, 1897–1901). (A. W. H.*) 


INSUBRES (Ἲσομβρες, Ἲνσουβροι), a Celtic people of upper Italy, the most powerful in Gallia Transpadana, inhabiting the country between the Adda, the Ticinus and the Alps. According to Livy (v. 34) they appear to have been a branch of the Aedui in Gallia Transalpina, though others assume that they were Umbrians, a view to some extent supported by the form Is-ombr-es. Livy states that Bellovesus and his Gauls, having crossed the Alps and defeated the Etruscans near the Ticinus, found themselves in the territory of the Insubres (also the name of a pagus of the Aedui). Here they built a city and called it Mediolanum (Milan), after the name of a village in their home in Gallia Transalpina. The name Insubres thus appears applied to the inhabitants (1) of the Aeduan pagus, (2) of the territory in Gallia Transpadana occupied by Bellovesus, (3) to the founders of Mediolanum. From 222 to 195 B.C. the Insubres were frequently at war with the Romans. In 222 they were defeated at Clastidium by M. Claudius Marcellus, who gained the spolia opima by slaying with his own hand their king Viridomarus (Virdumarus), and in 194 they were finally subdued by L. Valerius Flaccus.

See H. Nissen, Italische Landeskunde (1902) ii. 179; A. Holder, Altkeltischer Sprachschatz, ii. (1904).


INSURANCE, a term meaning generally “making oneself safe against” something, but specially used in connexion with making financial provision against certain risks in the business of life. The terms Assurance and Insurance are in ordinary usage synonymous, but in the profession “assurance” is confined to the “life” business, and “insurance” to fire, marine and other miscellaneous risks. Assurance was the earlier term, and was used of all forms of insurance indiscriminately till the end of the 16th century. Insurance—in its earlier form, “ensurance”—was first applied to fire risks (see note s.v. “Insurance” in the New English Dictionary).

I. General History

During the latter half of the 19th century the practice of insurance extended with unprecedented rapidity, partly in novel forms. While its several branches, such as life insurance, casualty insurance and others, have each had an independent and characteristic development, all these together form an institution peculiar to the modern world, the origin and growth of which attest a remarkable change in men’s ideas and habits of thought.

The simplest and most general conception of insurance is a provision made by a group of persons, each singly in danger of some loss, the incidence of which cannot be foreseen, that when such loss shall occur to any of them it shall be distributed over the whole group. Its essential elements, therefore, are foresight and co-operation; the former the special distinction of civilized man, the latter the means of social progress. But foresight is possible only in the degree in which the consequences of conduct are assured, i.e. it depends on an ascertained regularity in the forces of nature and the order of society. To the savage, life is a lottery. In hunting, rapine and war, all his interests are put at hazard. The hopes and fears of the gambler dominate his impulses. As nature is studied and subdued, and as society is developed, the element of chance is slowly eliminated from life. In a progressive society, education, science, invention, the arts of production, with regular government and civil order,