In 1786 the Society for the Registry of Shipping moved from Lloyd’s Coffee House at No. 16 Lombard Street, to No. 4 Sun Court, Cornhill. By 1797 the Register Book had 215 subscribers and the Society was run by an organising committee of 11 members. In this year the Society moved to No. 4 Castle Court, Birchin Lane. The committee updated the classification system but the changes disadvantaged ships built outside London. Protesting subscribers set up their own register called the Society of Merchants, Shipowners and Underwriters, and issued the New Register Book of Shipping for the first time in 1799. They were based first at No. 3 St Michael’s Alley, and then from 1812 at No. 5 Old Broad Street in the City.
Before 1815, there were two registers of shipping: The New Register Book of Shipping and the Society of Merchants, Shipowners and Underwriters. It was felt that a joint register was needed to cater for all needs. From 1820 ship owners started to press the ‘owners’ of both registers to remedy the situation. An agreement was finally reached in 1834 with the meeting of the first Committee of Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping. The reconstituted Lloyd’s Register took up residence at No. 2 White Lion Court, Cornhill.
By 1854, the Society had built up its reserves to more than £20,000. Towards the end of the 19th century the ever – growing British merchant fleet and the demand for more rigorous standards in the construction of iron and steel steam ships meant that once again Lloyd’s Register had outgrown its premises.
Larger premises were commissioned at 71 Fenchurch Street.