Lloyds of London is seeking a slave trade historian to examine its artefacts in the wakes of a Telegraph investigation.
The insurance market has posted an advert for an expert to investigate its collection of more than 3,000 items including paintings, swords and furniture.
The company, which was founded in 1688, previously insured slave ships, later apologising last year for its “shameful” role in the slave trade.
According to the job advert, the new staff member will carry out investigations to find out “what artefacts and objects link to African and Caribbean history (specifically slavery and abolition)”.
Last year a Telegraph investigation found that swathes of corporate Britain benefited directly or indirectly from the slave trade and its abolition.
University College London (UCL) last year collected these names into a major database to find out how British companies profited form slavery.
A spokeswoman for Lloyd’s of London said: “As society evolves, it is right and proper for us to take a look at those symbols and artefacts and make a decision as to whether or not what they stand for reflects where we are.
“Of course, it is important to fully understand history, but we must do so in a way that reflects changing sentiments and societal views as we more fully understand that history – the good, and the bad.”
When slavery was abolished in 1833, Lloyd’s of London was one company which benefited from the Government’s decision to compensate Britons who had lost property as a result.
Insurer Lloyd’s of London, with founder subscriber Simon Fraser, was the former owner of the Castle Bruce estate in Dominica, which was handed compensation totalling the equivalent of £397,451.
At the time a Lloyd’s spokesman said: “We are sorry for the role played by the Lloyd’s market in the 18th and 19th 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.
“We will provide financial support to charities and organisations promoting opportunity and inclusion for black and minority ethnic groups.”
Dr Katie Donington, a senior lecturer in history at the London South Bank University told the BBC that the move by Lloyd’s was “very welcome”.
“The work of analysing the historical relationship between commercial organisations and the business of slavery must take place within the context of evidence-based research. That process begins with examining the archive as well as relevant material culture held by Lloyds,” she said.
She also said that she hoped that information that comes from the research will be made available to slavery historians, community grounds and the public so that “they can understand the ways in which slavery and its legacies shaped both Lloyd’s and the wider City of London during this period.”
The insurance market was many of several companies identified by the Telegraph to have historical links to the slave trade.
The pub chain Greene King apologised after links were revealed that one of its founders owned a number of plantations in the Carribean.
Nick Mackenzie, Greene King’s chief executive, said: “It is inexcusable that one of our founders profited from slavery and argued against its abolition in the 1800s.
“We don’t have all the answers, so that is why we are taking time to listen and learn from all the voices, including our team members and charity partners, as we strengthen our diversity and inclusion work.”
— to www.telegraph.co.uk