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The Tudor and Stuart port

Introduction
Royal Dockyards and Trinity House
Trade and expansion in the 16th century
Trade and expansion in the 17th century
Improving the port
Coffee houses and insuring ships
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Coffee houses and insuring ships

Edward Lloyd

Lloyd's Coffee House frontage. On loan from Lloyd's of London.
View full size imagePart of the original frontage of Edward Lloyd's Coffee House.
During the 17th century the practice of insuring ships and cargoes against loss became more commonplace.

By the 1680s, Edward Lloyd's coffee house in Tower Street was seen as the best place in London to arrange an insurance deal.

Latest information

It was a favoured haunt of shipmasters and merchants, so it was a source of up-to-date information about vessel movements and cargoes.

Underwriters sitting in Lloyd's all day could:

  • share their risks
  • find business
  • gather the shipping information they needed to make insurance decisions.

Lloyd's List

Lloyd's List No 573
View full size imageA page from Lloyd's List, No. 573, February 1741.
In 1692 Lloyd began publishing a weekly newsletter, 'Ships Arrived at and Departed from several Ports of England, as I have Account of them in London [and] an Account of what English Shipping and Foreign Ships for England, I hear of in Foreign Ports'.

This was the forerunner to Lloyd's List. After the London Gazette, first published in 1665, this is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the world.

 

Risk takers

Lloyd's subscription room
View full size imageLloyd's Subscription Room, c. 1800.
The business flourished but, during the 1700s, attracted speculators willing to take wild risks.

So in 1769 the more sober financiers opened a new coffee house in Pope's Head Alley.

The Great Room at Lloyd's.
View full size imageThe Great Room at Lloyd's.
Five years later, the group transferred to the Royal Exchange. It stayed there until it moved to Leadenhall Street in the 1920s. Today, Lloyds is the world's leading insurance exchange and insures most of the planet's shipping.

Useful links

 

Page 6 of 6. Previous page

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Find out more
StoriesTrinity House
Showing the way
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StoriesDeptford and Woolwich: London's Royal Dockyards
The rise and decline of Henry VIII's Dockyards
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Fact fileElizabeth I
Queen of England, 1558-1603
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Fact fileSamuel Pepys
Diarist and Master of Trinity House
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Fact fileSir Thomas Spert
The first and longest serving Master of Trinity House
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Fact fileHenry VIII
The king who had six wives
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Fact filePhineas Pett
Ship builder
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Fact file'Golden Hind'
Sir Francis Drake's ship for circumnavigating the globe
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GalleriesDeptford Royal Dockyard collection
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GalleriesWoolwich Royal Dockyard collection
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GalleriesVideoMaritime London video gallery
From Roman settlement to today's Docklands, explore the history of maritime London
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8
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
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