Lloyd's of London to Pay for 'Shameful' Atlantic Slave Trade RoleBreaking News
tags: slavery, London, history of capitalism, insurance
As part of a global reassessment of history and racism triggered by the death of George Floyd in the United States, some British institutions have begun re-examining their past, especially connections to slavery.
The Bank of England also apologised for what it called the “inexcusable connections” of some past governors and directors to slavery, and said it would remove any portraits of them from display anywhere on its premises.
About 17 million African men, women and children were torn from their homes and shackled into one of the world’s most brutal globalised trades between the 15th and 19th centuries. Many died in merciless conditions.
“We are sorry for the role played by the Lloyd’s market in the 18th and 19th Century slave trade - an appalling and shameful period of English history, as well as our own,” Lloyd’s said in a statement on Thursday.
“Recent events have shone a spotlight on the inequality that black people have experienced over many years as a result of systematic and structural racism that has existed in many aspects of society and unleashed difficult conversations that were long overdue,” it added.
The world’s leading commercial insurance market, Lloyd’s - which started life in Edward Lloyd’s coffee house in 1688 - is where complex insurance contracts ranging from catastrophe to events cancellation are agreed and underwritten.
Lloyd’s grew to dominate the shipping insurance market, a key element of Europe’s global scramble for empire, treasure and slaves, who were usually in the 18th Century included in insurance policies in the general rate for ship cargo.
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