In pictures: A history of Lloyd’s in catastrophes

In pictures: A history of Lloyd’s in catastrophes

In 1799, the economy in Hamburg was on the brink of collapse. HMS Lutine, a majestic French Navy frigate which had been captured and now belonged to the British Navy, was ordered to deliver a vast sum of gold and silver, collected by City of London merchants, to the German port, as funds to prevent a stock market crash. It’s valuable cargo was insured by Lloyd’s underwriters.

On the evening of October 9, during a heavy north-westerly gale, the Lutine was dragged by the tide on to the dangerous sandbanks off the Dutch coast, where she was wrecked in the breakers, and all but one of her 240 passengers and crew were lost.

Lloyd’s, under the leadership of underwriter John Julius Angerstein, paid the claim in full. It was the Lutine that created Lloyd’s reputation for paying valid claims – and for having the financial wherewithal to withstand a loss of such legendary proportions.

The ship’s bell, which was salvaged In 1858, now hangs in the atrium of the Lloyd’s underwriting room. Traditionally, it was struck on the arrival of news of an overdue ship – once for the ship’s loss (and so, for bad news), and twice for her return (good news). It has more recently been rung to mark special occasions.

Picture: Getty

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