Lloyd’s, the world’s oldest and biggest insurance market, and Greene King, the pub and brewery company both revealed that they would be making slavery reparations, without disclosing the sums involved.
Records archived by researchers at University College London (UCL) show that one of Greene King’s founders, Benjamin Greene, held at least 231 human beings in slavery and became an enthusiastic supporter of the practice.
Nick Mackenzie, Greene King’s chief executive officer, said on Wednesday night: “It is inexcusable that one of our founders profited from slavery and argued against its abolition in the 1800s.”
Lloyd’s apologised in a lengthy statement. A spokesman said, “Lloyd’s has a long and rich history dating back over 330-years, but there are some aspects of our history that we are not proud of. In particular, we are sorry for the role played by the Lloyd’s market in the eighteenth and nineteenth century slave trade.
“This was an appalling and shameful period of English history, as well as our own, and we condemn the indefensible wrongdoing that occurred during this period.”