On a cold February morning in 1688, merchants flicking through the London Gazette while relaxing in one of the numerous coffee shops around the City would have noticed a familiar name – Lloyd’s.
An article in the respected newspaper declared a reward for a stolen horse and encouraged anyone with information to contact Edward Lloyd at his popular coffee shop on Tower Street. It was the first mention of Lloyd’s and an early sign of insurance, or at least reward.
At this time, there were more than 80 coffee houses within the City walls; each a centre for entrepreneurs and merchants with a specialist interest to offer. Despite the original equine reference, what Lloyd’s coffee house specialised in was information about shipping.
A driven man, Lloyd made sure he provided intelligence second to none. But even he couldn’t have known that 325 years later, his name would have become an internationally recognised brand – one synonymous with pioneering insurance products, financial stability and underwriting expertise.
This year, Lloyd’s marks its 325th anniversary and to celebrate we’ve published host of online material exploring Lloyd’s fascinating legacy. The world has changed enormously since the first insurance policies were written but Lloyd’s has continued to adapt, innovate and evolve.
From sea vessels to spaceships, body parts to natural catastrophes, join us as we take a journey through Lloyd’s extraordinary history: