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Marine Insurance in the Netherlands 1600-1870 dissertation.pdf · PDF file 14 hours ago · remind me of dissertation deadlines), Peter Kroos and Frits Duimstra. I would like to.....

Oct 08, 2020




  • VU Research Portal

    Marine Insurance in the Netherlands 1600-1870

    Go, S.C.


    document version Publisher's PDF, also known as Version of record

    Link to publication in VU Research Portal

    citation for published version (APA) Go, S. C. (2009). Marine Insurance in the Netherlands 1600-1870: A comparative institutional approach.

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  • Marine Insurance in the Netherlands 1600-1870

  • For my parents, Anneke and Gwan, Jorna and Maurits

  • Marine Insurance in the Netherlands 1600-1870

    A comparative institutional approach


    ter verkrijging van de graad Doctor aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, op gezag van de rector magnificus

    prof.dr. L.M. Bouter, in het openbaar te verdedigen

    ten overstaan van de promotiecommissie van de faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Bedrijfskunde

    op donderdag 10 december 2009 om 13.45 uur in de aula van de universiteit,

    De Boelelaan 1105



    Sabine Christa Go

    geboren te Groningen

  • promotor: prof.dr. C.A. Davids copromotor: prof.dr. B. Compaijen

  • Contents

    List of tables, graphs and maps 7 List of abbreviations 8

    Acknowledgements 9

    Chapter 1: Introduction 13 § 1.1 Marine insurance: the historiographical context 13 § 1.2 Methodology and design of this study 17 § 1.3 Dealing with the risks of maritime trade: a variety of options 23 § 1.4 Sources 25 § 1.5 Structure of this study 27

    Chapter 2: Groningen: mutual interests and financial innovation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 31 § 2.1 Introduction 31 § 2.2 Mutual marine insurance in the province of Groningen 36

    § 2.2.1 Guild boxes in the city of Groningen 37 § 2.2.2 Guild boxes in rural Groningen 41 § 2.2.3 From guild box to compact 43 § 2.2.4 From compact to cassa 45

    § 2.3 Groningen’s insurance initiatives in context 46 § 2.4 Mutual marine insurance in Groningen: an institutional analysis 52 § 2.5 Conclusion 58

    Chapter 3: Amsterdam: individuals, ineffectual regulations and intricate balances of power in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 61 § 3.1 Introduction 61 § 3.2 Actors and institutions 70

    § 3.2.1 Brokers and unauthorised brokers 70 § 3.2.2 The Chamber of Insurance and Average 95 § 3.2.3 The insured 117 § 3.2.4 The underwriters 126

    § 3.3 The Amsterdam insurance market: scope and dynamics 145 § 3.4 Conclusion 156

  • Chapter 4: Rotterdam: commercial and political collusion in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries 159 § 4.1 Introduction 159 § 4.2 Actors and institutions 172

    § 4.2.1 Municipal ordinances and the Chamber of Maritime Affairs 172 § 4.2.2 Brokers, pondgaarders and unauthorised brokers 184 § 4.2.3 The insured 197 § 4.2.4 The underwriters 212

    § 4.3 The Rotterdam insurance market: scope and dynamics 240 § 4.3.1 Insurance companies and regents: the Rotterdam insurance market between 1760 and 1780 241 § 4.3.2 New practices and opportunities for the Rotterdam insurance business between 1850 and 1870 251

    § 4.4 Conclusion 267

    Chapter 5: Conclusion 271 § 5.1 The relevance of marine insurance 271 § 5.2 Regional divergence 272 § 5.3 Institutions and actors: influence and interaction 279

    Samenvatting (summary in Dutch) 289 Appendices

    Archival sources 303 Printed Sources and literature 306 Index 319

  • List of tables, graphs and maps

    Map 1.1 The Netherlands and its surrounding countries 30 Map 2.1 Groningen and Westerwolde 32 Table 2.1 Overview of mutual insurance boxes in the city and

    province of Groningen 47 Map 3.1 The financial centre of Amsterdam 64 Figure 3.1 Amsterdam governmental structure 71 Graph 3.1 Number of brokers and unauthorised brokers in

    Amsterdam (1530-1800) 81 Table 3.1 Overview of principal ordinances, bylaws and alterations

    relevant to the insurance industry in Amsterdam between c. 1495 and c. 1797 110

    Graph 3.2 Volume of insurance cases handled by the Chamber of Insurance and Average 117

    Map 4.1 The city of Rotterdam 1733 160 Map 4.2 The city of Rotterdam 1870 168 Graph 4.1 Gross annual fee per commissioner (in guilders) 177 Graph 4.2 Total revenues of the Chamber of Maritime Affairs (gross) 181 Graph 4.3 Composition of total revenues of the Chamber of

    Maritime Affairs (gross) 181 Table 4.1 Number of brokers and insurance brokers in Rotterdam

    between 1632 and 1869 195 Graph 4.4 Percentage of Stad Rotterdam’s insured value as

    originating from the nhm 208 Table 4.2 The 1840 nhm classification of underwriters 226 Graph 4.5 Insured value generated by nhm as part of the total

    turnover of Stad Rotterdam 230

  • Abbrevations

    ga Groninger Archieven (Groningen Archives) gar Gemeentearchief Rotterdam (Municipal Archives Rotterdam) kb Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Royal Library) The Hague na Notary Archives neha, bc Nederlandsch Economisch-Historisch Archief, Bijzondere collecties nsm Nederlands Scheepvaart Museum Amsterdam (Maritime Museum

    Amsterdam) ona Oud Notarieel Archief (Old Notary Archives) op Catalogus van de collectie van publicaties van de overheid (Catalogue of

    the collection of publications of the government) ora Oud Rechterlijke Archieven van Rotterdam (Old Judicial Archives of

    Rotterdam) osa Oud Archief van de stad Rotterdam (Old Archives of the city of Rot-

    terdam) saa Stadsarchief Amsterdam (City Archives Amsterdam)

  • Acknowledgements

    Writing a thesis, completing a PhD project, is hardly ever a solo endeavour. I was accompanied on this journey by many people who have supported, inspired and helped me. It was on a Friday afternoon that my journey began, when I knocked on the door of the office of Karel Davids. Although I was initially interested in the voc, Karel soon convinced me to focus on the unknown: marine insur- ance. The lure was evident and I have not regretted the choice since. In the early stages of my research, I felt like a ship’s boy, the most junior member of a crew, an absolute novice. The fact that I have been able to finish this project is due to Karel who, as an experienced captain, guided me through the unknown world of economic-historians, of archival research, of illegible handwritings, ancient and modern. Apart from his near inexhaustible knowledge and expertise, Karel is gifted with the rare ability to motivate, to inspire and to challenge. I could not have wished for a better supervisor. I am forever indebted to him for his unre- lenting support and patience and for bringing out the best in me.

    I would also like to thank Bernard Compaijen, my co-supervisor, for the many years of support, advice and observations, for his friendship and the laughs we had while sharing an office. My sincere thanks to the members of my Pro- motie committee, Frank den Butter, Femme Gaastra, Paul van de Laar and Clé Lesger for their willingness to read my manuscript and their helpful comments for improving it. I would also like to thank Kees Camfferman, not only for his valuable commentary as a member of the committee, but also for his support in times of distress, and his trust in offering me the opportunity to work at the de- partment of Accounting.

    I am grateful to the Vrije Universiteit, and in particular to the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, for giving me the opportunity to pur- sue my dreams – special thanks to Janny Westra for her understanding and sup- port, to Frans Snijders, Mira Maletic, Ina Putter, Jan-Willem Visser and Saskia Brand. Trudi, Manon, Vera and Bouk: thank you for all your help. I have en- joyed working with my colleagues at the departments of Economics, Finance and Accounting, in particular Phil Kint, Bas van der Klaauw (always willing to remind me of dissertation deadlines), Peter Kroos and Frits Duimstra.

    I would like to extend my thanks to all at the Tinbergen Institute, in par- ticular Arianne de Jong.

    Although I was officially a member of staff at the Faculty of Economics, I was warmly welcomed by the department of Economic and Social history of the Faculty of Humanities of the Vrije Universiteit, for which I thank in particular

  • 10 Marine Insurance in the Netherlands 1600-1870

    Wantje Fritschy and Petra van Dam, as well as Doreen Arnoldus. In the course of the years, I have had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with a number of scholars of whom I would like to particularly thank Marjolein ‘t Hart for her advice and ex

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