In the 1690s Edward Lloyd kept a Coffee House in Tower Street. He attracted merchants and shipowners to his premises by posting up the latest shipping information. He began publishing Lloyd's News in 1696, therefore establishing London's first daily newspaper.
In 1771 a group of Lloyd's customers formed their own association of underwriters and took rooms at the Royal Exchange. Lloyd's remained at the building for the next 150 years. After a fire in 1838 Lloyd's moved to South Sea House. In 1871 Lloyd's was incorporated by Parliament for the "promotion of marine insurance and the diffusion of shipping intelligence".
The subscription room, which is represented in the plate was opened in 1802. These rooms are for the use of merchants, underwriters, brokers, etc. There are besides two coffee rooms, there are rooms where ships are sold by auction.