The Company of Watermen and Lightermen of The River Thames

In 1514 the earliest Act of Parliament for regulating watermen, wherrymen and bargemen received  Royal Assent from King Henry VIII.

Under a further Act of 1555  the Company introduced apprenticeships for those wishing to learn the skills of the Watermen. In 1700 the Lightermen (carriers of goods/cargo) joined  the Watermen’s Company.  

The Company is a working guild and is very actively involved with the life of the River and those who work on it.


The Company is governed by a Court of Assistants led by the Master and four Wardens, who are elected annually by the Court., The Master for this year is Mr Simon McCarthy, shown  above with three of his Wardens. Senior Warden Dr Iain Reid, Junior Wardens Mrs Gina Blair and Mr Tony Maynard. Junior Warden Sean Collins was unable to be present at the Installation Court on 12th July 2017.

Watermen's Hall

The Company Calendar 2018

THE COMPANY OF WATERMEN AND LIGHTERMEN COURT CALENDAR 2018 Freemen have requested early notice be given of Company Events for the coming calendar year. This has not been done before as the events straddle more than one Masters’ year.  However, as an experiment below are the events fixed until the end of the Company’s year … read more

The Knolly Rose Ceremony 20th June 2018

Knollys Rose Ceremony  – 20th June 2018 Members of the Company of Watermen and LIghtermen and representatives of All Hallows by the Tower Church were present to see the annual cutting of the Rose and then processed to Mansion House . At Mansion House the Rose was  presented  to the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress. The … read more

The Company of Watermen and Lightermen, 16 - 18 St-Mary-at-Hill, London, EC3R 8EF

© 2018 The Company of Watermen and Lightermen