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

Morgenster Sailing Training Ship

Twenty apprentices and trainees joined the sail training ship Morgenster at Greenwich Pier and took part in a variety of activities including going aloft, venturing out on the bowsprit and setting sails. After sailing through Tower Bridge we moored on Tower Pier where representatives from the PLA, MCA, LRS as well as many Thames operators … read more

The Ceremony of Beating the Bounds

Beating the Bounds dates back to medieval times, when each parish reaffirmed their boundaries by  processing to each boundary mark and beating them with wands whilst praying for their crops. Every Ascension Day  the clergy  of All Hallows by the Tower, with students of St Dunstan’s College, participate in Beating the Bounds. In addition  members … read more

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

© 2018 The Company of Watermen and Lightermen