Lloyd’s was built on ensuring Africans suffered a life of abuse.
Lloyd’s was founded in 1688 by Edward Lloyd the proprietor of a coffeehouse. His coffeehouse was frequented by sailors, merchants and shipowners of the slavetrade. It was from here the Lloyds empire began. Lloyd’s would offer insurance on Africans being transported to the New World. The insurance was only paid out of the Africans died at sea, of slaves arrived on land the policy would end. It soon became common knowledge to throw the sick Africans overboard to ensure a profit.
As was common practice, the crew of the Zong in 1781 packed on more slaves than was room for and, as a result, disease and malnutrition had claimed the lives of seven white men and sixty African slaves. One day the captain Luke Collinwood decided that all remaining sick Africans should be thrown overboard to protect the crew and the remaining cargo of slaves. It is said that he assembled the crew and explained that throwing the slaves overboard
Whilst they were still alive, for The safety of the ship, would result in the ship’s underwriters bearing the cost.
Allowing the slaves to die a natural death on board would make it the loss the crew’s responsibility. European laws, at this time, stated;
The insurer takes upon him the risk of the loss, capture, and death of slaves, or any other unavoidable accident to them: but natural death is always understood to be excepted: by natural death is meant, not only when it happens by disease or sickness, but also when the captive destroys himself through despair, which often happens: but when slaves are killed, or thrown into the sea in order to quell an insurrection on their part, then the insurers must answer.
Lloyds inadvertently gave sailors an excuse to drown thousands of Africans.
What has to be remembered is that the slave owners were compensated when the slave trade came to an end. Slaves were never valued as human being they were seen as cattle. And treated as such. Branded with their slave masters name, their names are still used today.