John Julius Angerstein

In office from: 1797

Background: Insurance broker

The first known Chairman of the Society for the Registry of Shipping in 1797, Angerstein was a leading marine insurance broker. He was among those seeking to transform the business of Lloyd's underwriters into a more professional, efficient and reputable organisation, and his chairmanship of the Society may have been driven by similar concerns.

Of an uncertain parentage - his mother was reputed to be the Empress Anne of Russia and his surname was apparently taken from the German doctor who delivered him - he was already well established as an underwriter by 1770. The wealth he accumulated allowed him to make generous donations to charity - it was at his initiative that Lloyd's established its Lifeboat Fund - and to build up an enviable art collection, including works by Titian, Raphael, Rubens and Rembrandt. After his death a number of these were acquired by the nation, helping to establish what became the National Gallery in London.

Related links:

Wikipedia

The National Gallery

The Younger's advisor...

Did you know, Angerstein was also financial advisor to Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger (1759-1806). Pitt was the youngest serving Prime Minister in history, taking office aged 24.