chapter  1
2 Pages

Historical Perspective

If we look at the list of perils which by Lloyd’s form of policy the underwriters were ‘‘contented to bear and do take upon us in this voyage’’, we find that prominence is given to the warlike and hostile acts which might befall the adventure. Those perils were:

After reading this list it is not difficult to appreciate how hazardous a maritime adventure was in the days when Lloyd’s form of policy was evolving, and how much of that hazard arose from the hostile acts of men. Of course, in those days every merchantman was armed, and the gunner was as important a member of the crew as the boatswain. Even so, a heavily laden merchantman was no match, either in sailing ability or fire power, for a man of war or a pirate cutter, and many were the losses which underwriters had to bear from these causes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.