The name (often just the surname) of a ship’s master or captain was recorded in the Lloyd’s Register of Ships between 1764 and 1921. This is the only information that we hold relating to Ships’ masters. More detailed records can be found in Lloyd’s of London’s Lloyd’s Captains’ Register. This was published from 1868 to 1947 and can be viewed at the Guildhall Library.
Lloyd’s Register is a classification and risk management organisation. Classification is the laying down of standards for the construction and maintenance of ships. Compliance to these standards, published as Rules and Regulations, ensures assignment and maintenance of the class +100A1. For a full explanation of classification see Infosheet no.35 and for the history of classification see Infosheet no.32 . Details of other major Classification Societies can be found on Infosheet no.15.
No, Lloyd’s Register has never recorded information relating to crew. Crew lists and agreements are held in several different locations. The Registry of Shipping in Cardiff keep current Merchant Navy seamen’s sea service records dating from 1994, as well as more limited records dating from 1973 to 1993. The National Archives hold the majority of the early records of the Registry of Shipping from 1835 onwards. For 1861-1938 and 1951-1990, a 10% sample of all log books and crew agreements are held at the National Archives. The remainder are distributed between the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and the Maritime History Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland. Please see Infosheet no.2 for further details.
High resolution copies of the documents are currently unavailable to the general public. For research purposes and filming, high resolution copies can be sent to you. Please visit our contact us page to send us a request for high resolution copies.
Unfortunately, we will be closed throughout 2020 due to a major refurbishment project. This will impact library enquiries, group visits and the Centre's public events. As a result, the Centre are currently digitising important parts of the collection in order for these to be accessible via the HEC website during the closure. To stay up to date on the development of 71FS, make sure to sign up to our mailing list and follow our social media platforms.
Currently, the Centre’s digitisation activities are still ongoing. As a result, the archived documents are unavailable as they are being catalogued and digitised. If your request is urgent, please contact us via our enquiry form.
The Lloyd’s Register of Ships online webpage gathers links to digitised Register Books across the web. These digitised editions are not scanned by the Centre and have been scanned by Googlebooks or the Internet Archive. Subsequently, missing editions do exist as these are yet to be digitised and be made available in the public domain.
The Centre have staff records for historic surveyors and some administrative staff. Please complete our general enquiry form to see if we have any information on the individual(s).
If you would like to donate a collection or item to the Centre, please contact email@example.com and the team will be in touch.
LR Ships in Class is a free access online register containing information on ships and other types of assets classed by Lloyd’s Register. You can search by using IMO number, ship name or flag.
Researchers are welcome to visit the Heritage & Education Centre library to view the latest edition of the Lloyd’s Register of Ships free of charge. Please note that the centre is closed to visitors throughout 2020. Lloyd’s Register can sometimes provide information on vessels that are currently in service by using the Lloyd’s Register of Ships and our online Sea-Web subscription.
Find out more on Information Sheets 11 & 12 which can be accessed via our Archaeology Resources page.
There is no centralised source of information relating to shipwrecks that occurred before 1741. Between 1875 and 1904 a list of vessels removed from the British Register was published in the Mercantile Navy List.
Early ‘posted’ editions of the Lloyd’s Register of Ships often include the fate of a vessel.
Brief ship details and the date and place of loss have been recorded in the Quarterly Casualty Returns since July 1890. This does not pertain to lives lost at sea, as one might expect, but to total losses of ocean-going merchant ships over 100 gross tonnes. Copies of the Lloyd’s Register Casualty Returns can be viewed online.
The Heritage & Education Centre Library has a complete collection of the Lloyd’s Register of Yachts 1878 to 1980, and Lloyd’s Register of Classed Yachts 1981 to 1996, 1999, 2000, 2002. This is an annual Register, which lists British and Foreign yachts classed by Lloyd’s Register, yachts belonging to subscribers to Lloyd’s Register publications and certain other yachts above a specified size.
Contrary to popular belief, Lloyd’s Register and Lloyd’s of London are two completely separate organisations, with only the origin of our names in common. Both organisations owe their name and foundation to a seventeenth century coffee house owned by Edward Lloyd and located in Great Tower Street. Find out more about our history in our online webinar.