London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:

1585 - 2018

Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • Records of Lloyd's of London, marine insurers. The majority of the collection dates from 1771, with deeds 1585-1949, and includes minutes of the Committee, of the Council and of general meetings; letter books; subscription books; loss and casualty books; war casualty books; deeds and other papers relating to the offices on the corner of Lime Street and Leadenhall Street; papers relating to the Lloyd's Medal for Saving Life at Sea, the Lloyd's Medal for Meritorious Service and the Lloyd's War Medal for Bravery at Sea; and printed material collected by staff

    Also in the collection are the Captain's Registers. These list certificates of competency awarded to men intending to be masters or mates of foreign going merchant ships; and form a directory of qualifed personnel, 1869-1947. The registers include destinations and casualies such as sinking or collisions. For detailed information about the registers please see the sub-fond entry Marine Records, CLC/B/148/B.

    Also in the collection are papers relating to signal stations, including reports, legal agreements, histories and register of ships passing North Shields station. The signal stations were operated by Lloyds both in the UK and abroad. They gave n otice of vessels in distress, noted the weather, and reported all passing vessels that gave their name to the station. This latter meant ships could be tracked and made Lloyds the recognised clearing house for global shipping intelligence.

    Post-1944 material in series CLC/B/148/A/006/MS31570, CLC/B/148/A/001/MS31571 and CLC/B/148/A/005/MS38565 is access by permission of depositor only.

Extent: 931 production units
Classification: BUSINESSES
Former Reference: MS 14931- 5; MS 24705- 7; MS 31610- 19; MS 18567- 71; MS 19531- 44; MS 31570- 1; MS 31641- 79; MS 36855; MS 38565
Site Location: Guildhall
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • In the late seventeenth century, Edward Lloyd opened a coffee house in Tower Street, and later Lombard Street, where merchants and bankers were accustomed to meet to write insurance on ships and cargoes. In 1769, a group of such underwriters, who wished to distance themselves from a reputation for speculation, set up a New Lloyd's coffee house, at 5 Pope's Head Alley. Lloyd's first took on a collective identity when, two years later, the underwriters paid a subscription and elected a Committee, with the intention of establishing themselves in more suitable quarters and regulating the conduct of their business.

    Lloyd's was governed by the Committee according to a constitution defined by a trust deed of 1811 and redefined by an Act of Parliament of 1871, which incorporated Lloyd's, and later Acts of 1888, 1911, 1925 and 1951. The management structure was revised under the terms of the Lloyd's Act of 1982 which established the Council of Lloyd's as the new governing body with powers to regulate the business of insurance at Lloyd's. The Committee of Lloyd's continued in existence with reduced powers.

    Lloyd's remains a market for marine insurance, although in the twentieth century its business expanded into other areas of insurance. Lloyd's was established at the Royal Exchange in 1774, and remained there until 1928, with only a brief interruption between the years 1838-44, following a fire. From 1928, Lloyd's occupied a site on the corner of Lime Street and Leadenhall Street; subsequently opening a new building, on the other side of Lime Street, in 1957, and another new building, on the original site, in 1986.
Creator: Lloyd's of London | marine insurers
Copyright: Depositor
Source of Acquisition:
  • The manuscript archives of Lloyd's of London have been deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library at various dates since 1975. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.
  • B12/134
  • B13/071
  • B13/118
  • B15/005
  • 1981/021
  • 1983/002
  • 1984/007A
  • 1985/001
  • 1975/004
  • 1987/045
  • 1989/062
  • B17/130
  • 1991/043
  • 1992/003
  • 1993/001
  • 1977/022
  • 1979/026
  • 1979/046
  • B18/032
  • B19/010
Access Restrictions: Not available for online ordering. Please see staff
Arrangement: As the archive is large and complex, to assist the user the catalogue has been arranged in sections each with an archival classification, as follows:
CLC/B/148/A: Corporate;
CLC/B/148/AA: Administration;
CLC/B/148/B: Marine records;
CLC/B/148/BA: Signal station records;
CLC/B/148/C: Premises records;
CLC/B/148/D: Charities;
CLC/B/148/E: Staff.
Related Material: Most printed material is held by Guildhall Library
Publication Notes:

See also LMA Information Leaflet Number 50, available online and in hard copy in the Information Area.