H. J. Whitlock
Lloyd's (Royal Exchange) and its Members, 1925.
32 x 25
In this extraordinary image we see all the members of Lloyd's Insurance company lined up for a photograph in 1925 (and not a woman amongst them!)
Lloyd's originated in a coffee shop in Tower Street in the 1680s and moved to the corner of Lombard Street in 1692. Initially it seems to have dealt predominantly in maritime insurance, a natural concomitant of London's position as a pivotal trading port, but as the years progressed its remit became ever more expansive. Today it is known as a society of underwriters who accept personal responsibility for their profit or loss and are required to use their private fortune to meet their insurance commitments.
The company inhabited various sites over the years, including The Royal Exchange, but in 1925 (the year of this image) it started to develop a new premises on the site of the old East India House where they moved in 1928. This astonishing group portrait would have commemorated Lloyd's final tenure at the Royal Exchange. The number of members shown is anyone's guess!