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The Lloyd's Collection: our historic links to transatlantic slavery

Learning from the legacy of Lloyd's links to slavery

Lloyd’s Collection contains objects, publications and archives relating to Lloyd’s activities from its foundation, in the late 1680s to the present day. Our Collection has developed over time and grown through individual purchases and donations made to Lloyd’s. It doesn’t provide a complete record of the activities of the Lloyd’s market or all what has been insured by Lloyd’s in its 330 year history, but nevertheless allows us to witness some of our past. 

Recently, we have been exploring our archive to better understand our historical links to the transatlantic slave trade through a research collaboration with Black Beyond Data, from John’ Hopkins University, and independently funded by the Mellon Foundation. The research will be published in early November 2023. 

As we approached this research, we have been guided by the voices of our Black and ethnically diverse colleagues. Together, we have facilitated a series of Conversations between Black and ethnically diverse colleagues with white allies to co-curate items from Lloyd’s Collection. These powerful conversations bear witness to the experiences of our colleagues and their ancestors across generations, connecting the past to the present and the shared history of slavery. We remain deeply sorry for this part of our history and the harm caused to people and communities around the world.

Each item is the starting point for an anonymous conversation between a Black or ethnically diverse colleague, with a white ally, in which they explore their lived experience and the legacy of enslavement. The items were chosen to align with colleagues’ specific ancestry or selected by colleagues themselves. 

You can listen to a short extract of each conversation or hear the full conversation by following the link which provides historical information on the item along with the conversation.

Please note: you may encounter harmful content and language in these conversations. We believe, however, it is important to bring to the foreground the absent and hidden histories of enslavement. We would like to thank all of our colleagues for sharing their experiences. 

If you have any feedback or comments about the issues raised please email:

The Conversations

Conversation on the Bill of Lading for 100 enslaved people

Conversation on Jamaican insurance documents

Conversation on a letter by Hercules Ross

Conversation on the Clagett & Pratt risk books

Conversation on Joseph Marryat’s portrait

Honest conversations

This project is a continuation of a dialogue with our Black and ethnically diverse colleagues, in both the Corporation and the market.

In 2022 we had some honest conversations with our Black and ethnically diverse colleagues about Lloyd’s history, the transatlantic slave trade and their experiences. The views of those colleagues have been compiled into a video which you can view here, and we are grateful for their insights.