Journal of the Institute of Actuaries in
1851 and 1852.
The truth is that both Trenerry
and Hendriks drew on many common
sources regarding the antecedents
of insurance in ancient times. Older
authorities like the Swede Johannes
Loccenius and French jurists Estienne
Cleirac, Balthazard-Marie Emerigon,
Gerard Malynes, and J.-M. Pardessus
are mentioned and acknowledged by
both authors. There’s no doubt, however, that Hendriks’ work served as a
focal point and stimulus for Trenerry.
The indebtedness is extensive enough
that it raises the question of whether
they knew each other.
Hendriks, the son of a merchant, was
born in London in 1827 and died in
1909 at the age of 82. A mathematical
prodigy, he was hired as an actuary by
the Globe Insurance Co. in 1847 before he even turned 20. In 1851, the
24-year-old Hendriks contributed an
article concerning commutation columns to the first volume of the Journal
of the Institute of Actuaries (then entitled Assurance Magazine). He followed
this with an even more substantial article, “Contributions to the
History of Insurance,” in the second and third volumes. In the
latter article he writes about his rediscovery of Jan de Witt’s
pioneering 1671 Treatise on Annuities.
Hendriks was elected as a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society in 1855, and he served on the council of that organization
for some 50 years. He was the society’s delegate at the 1857 international statistical congress in Vienna, Austria, and the 1872
congress in St. Petersburg, Russia, and served on the organizing
committee for the 1860 congress in London.
Hendriks’ statistical papers over the years were rich and varied and earned him many awards, including a knighthood in the
Order of Vasa from the King of Sweden. As an actuary, Hendriks
was allied with the older actuaries who formed the Actuaries
Club in 1848 in opposition to the Institute of Actuaries. This separation remained in place until Thomas Bond Sprague secured
a royal charter for the Institute of Actuaries in 1884. Hendriks was among
the 15 die-hards of the Actuaries Club
admitted as honorary members of the
institute at that time.
After the Globe Insurance Co. was
amalgamated with the Liverpool and
London in 1861, Hendriks became
actuary for the Universal Life Assurance Society, a position that he
continued to hold until 1901. He also
served as consulting actuary to the
Clergy Mutual Assurance Co., the Equitable Reversionary Interest Society,
and several railway and other superannuation funds.
In 1910, according to actuarial historian Reginald Simmonds, the Institute
of Actuaries was able to acquire at a
cost of £ 15 15s. “a book of outstanding
interest in the shape of a manuscript
volume by F. Hendriks having reference to his researches into the History
of Life Contingencies and his discovery of De Witt’s Treatise on Annuities.”
Several other collections assembled by
Hendriks survive today in institutional
hands, including the State University of
New York at Albany and the State Library of Victoria, Australia.
Hendriks’ last contribution to the Journal of the Institute of
Actuaries was a review of a work on the history of insurance in
the Netherlands, published in 1899. But then he disappears from
view. No collected edition of Frederick Hendriks’ statistical and
actuarial writing has ever been issued.
The interconnected but diverse lives of these three Victorian
actuaries help us appreciate the growth and development of our
profession. William Sutton Gover was a classic entrepreneur, a
thoroughgoing company man, and a stalwart of the Institute of
Actuaries. He doubtless would have advised the young Charles
Farley Trenerry to study and work hard, with the assurance that
success would follow. Trenerry, a natural academician, probably
struggled with the last two of the institute examinations over the
period from 1892 to 1903. At the end of that time, it appears he