This guide gives a brief outline of the history of Lloyd's List, a newspaper reporting shipping movements and casualties, maritime news and other commercial information.

Lloyd's List has changed in format and coverage many times since its earliest issues. A fuller account of the journal and its different supplements, indexes and reprints, is given in a Guide to the Lloyd's Marine Collection, by Declan Barriskill (London: Guildhall Library, 2nd edition 1994) 017.1(421)Guildhall:368Lloyd’s

The earliest surviving issue of Lloyd's List dates from 1741, and the Museum has a complete run of issues from 1779. It also has an annual index on microfilm for 1838–1927.

Lloyd's List

  • 1696/7 Lloyd's News, forerunner of Lloyd's List, is published as a general news-sheet by Edward Lloyd, founder of Lloyd's coffee house in London
  • 1734 First publication of Lloyd's List as a weekly journal of general commercial news and details of ships arriving at English and Irish ports
  • 1737 Publication increased to twice-weekly
  • 1741 Earliest surviving issue is dated 2 January
  • 1740 (1741 according to modern reckoning adopted with the Gregorian Calendar in 1752)
  • 1769 First publication of New Lloyd's List. It ran as a rival to the original and replaced it in 1773, dropping the word New from its title after 1788
  • 1837 Published daily, Monday to Saturday, from 1 July, and expanded to cover more shipping information: London loading list and Custom House clearances
  • 1838 First annual index produced, covering the shipping movements and casualties section
  • 1854 Advertisements published for the first time, following the abolition of the advertisements tax
  • 1875 Issue dated March 1 carries a statement of policy and procedure for reporting ship movements and casualties
  • 1880 First publication of Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index, a reprint of all casualty and some movement reports, listed alphabetically by ship
  • 1917 Movements and casualties section dropped from Lloyd's List for the remainder of the First World War, but printed separately for restricted circulation as the Overseas Shipping Intelligence (now available on microfilm) and indexed as usual
  • 1920 First publication of Lloyd's Weekly Casualty Reports
  • 1927 Annual index replaced from 1 October by Voyage Record Cards (now held at Guildhall Library)
  • 1939 Movements and casualties section dropped from Lloyd's List during the Second World War, but again produced separately as Lloyd's List: Confidential Movements (also on microfilm), indexed as usual by Voyage Record Cards.
  • 1946 First publication of Lloyd's Voyage Record, issued weekly, showing all movements of ocean-going ships on current voyages
  • 1975 Voyage Record Cards discontinued from August. For later shipping movements, see Lloyd's Voyage Record or databases held by Lloyd's Maritime Information Services

Next steps

Other guides in the series which may be useful for using Lloyd's documents as a research tool are:

Research guide H3: Lloyd's: Lloyd's Captains' RegisterResearch guide H4: Lloyd's: Lloyd's List indexesResearch guide H5: Lloyd's: Registers held at the National Maritime MuseumResearch guide H6: Lloyd's: Lloyd's Register survey reports

For general research help see:

Research guide A2: Principal records for maritime research at the National Maritime MuseumResearch guide A3: Tracing family history from maritime records

Although care has been taken in preparing the information contained in this document, anyone using it shall be deemed to indemnify the National Maritime Museum from any and all injury or damage arising from such use.