The Company of Watermen and Lightermen

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

In 2014 the Company celebrated the 500th anniversary of that Act.

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 still actively involved with the life of the River and those who work on it.


The Master and Wardens for 2016/2017

 From left to right Junior Warden Dr Iain Reid , Senior Warden Mr Simon McCarthy, The Master John Salter, Junior Wardens Mr Tony Maynard and Mrs Gina Blair.


The Master, Mr John Salter, afloat.

Watermen's Hall

Members of the Court

The Court has elected Richard D Turk as a new  Court Assistant. The Court has appointed Craft Owning Freemen Graham Barnard and Brian Lamden as Honorary Court Assistants for a term of three years. The Court has admitted Olympians Dame Katherine Grainger DBE and Lt Pete Reed MBE as Honorary Craft Owning Freemen. The Court … read more

Company Barge

The Company has commissioned the building of a new barge to compete in the Thames Barge Driving Trust events. This will give apprentices the opportunity to train to navigate a barge under oars. Funds for the cost of the barge have been raised by donations from Members of the Court. The Master recently visited South … read more

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

© 2014 The Company of Watermen and Lightermen