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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

The Greatest British Actuary Ever

I am one of ‘the older actuaries’ who have expressed no views on this. I find it distasteful and give two examples.

I could never think of the great Dr Sprague as ‘Tom’. (I doubt if even his wife called him that!) I prefer George King’s tribute ‘We young men stood afar off and worshipped’.

I dislike the assumption that John Finlaison, in the 19th century, ‘set up the first widows and orphans fund’. The Scottish Ministers’ Widows Fund, set up in 1743 (before even William Morgan was born!), first solved the problem for a given entry age of a level contribution for an increasing risk. (See Dow TFA 33, or the celebratory volume in 1993 on its 250th anniversary.) Life offices followed later. Yet that fund’s founders do not even rate a mention.