In the second half of the 19th century ship owners gradually began to face more cargo related claims and, as a result, a number of Newcastle based ship owners approached Mr J Stanley Mitcalf, who was the marine underwriter based at No 41 the Quayside, with a request for him to help form a new mutual to cover cargo claims.
In 1874 the Steamship Owners' Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association was founded and in 1886, following a series of further mergers, the North of England Protecting & Indemnity Association, which became the forerunner of today's North, was formed. Stanley Mitcalf and Ralf Carr became joint secretaries of the newly merged Club beginning a management tradition that would feature prominently in North's history.
The new North prospered, and Mitcalf sought collaboration between all the Clubs in an effort to protect ship owners' interests. This led to the publication of loss prevention material and in particular "Suggestions to Managing Owners and their Captains" with advice on seamanship and other related matters. Another initiative, in response to the war over Cuba between the USA and Spain, was the creation in 1898 of a Hull and Machinery War Risks Class and this became invaluable for Members in what would become a period of unsettled relations.