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Foreman of the Norwich Union Firemen
published by gricharduk on Wed, 03/06/2020 - 14:09

Hello everyone and I hope you are all well,

Does anyone know what a foreman of the Norwich Union Firemen did? Were they just agents of the Norwich Union (selling fire insurance), loss adjusters, or actually put out the fires?! The person involved claims (in a newspaper report) to have had this position for 9 years from about 1820 - They were also a master (chimney) sweep.

I have not heard of the term "foreman" before (in this context) and I haven't turned-up much through searches. Any help/ideas gratefully received.

Richard

 

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Submitted by daveerasmus on Thu, 04/06/2020 - 21:33

When Insurance Companies were first established there was no national fire service. So Insurance Companies who insured against the risk of fire ran their own fire brigades and they did indeed attend fires (in order to reduce the costs of any claims). Norwich Union would have been one such company.

Norwich Union will definitely have an archivist. Should be relatively easy to track him/her down. In my experience archivists are only too happy to delve into their records to help researchers.

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Submitted by gricharduk on Fri, 05/06/2020 - 13:45

Thank you for the reply daveerasmus - I did know about the fire service provided by the insurance companies. I have since been given a reference to what the foreman actually did. It seems they would be responsible for a team that would actually put out the fire and it was usually a part-time role.

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