The Company of Watermen and Lightermen of The River Thames

Welcome to the web site of 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.

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. 

In 1780 The Company moved into its own purpose built Hall – Watermen’s Hall,  located at St Mary at Hill, which is where we can be  found today.

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.

Following his Installation the new Master, Dr Iain Reid (centre) is pictured with (L to R): Sir David Wootton (Junior Warden) Tony Maynard (Senior Warden), and Gina Blair and  Sean Collins (Junior Wardens).

The Master Dr Iain Reid and the Mistress Mrs Susan Keane .

Some helpful links –

To  find the Watermen’s shop 

To read the Master’s Blog

For details of The  River Thames Lunch Club

To check the Company Calendar 


Visiting Watermen’s Hall

We are already taking reservations for guided tours of Watermen’s Hall for March and April 2019. Tours normally take place on a Monday and and are for parties of between 10 -35 people. The cost from March 2019 is £15.00 a head with all the proceeds going towards the preservation and maintenance of the Georgian … read more

Ladies’ Christmas Luncheon

The  Ladies’ Christmas Luncheon organised by the Ladies’ Committee has now sold out. If you would like to be on the waiting list please contact Carol Ratcliffe If you are not on our database and would like  to be kept informed of the of events organised by the Ladies’ Committee please let us have your … read more

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

© 2018 The Company of Watermen and Lightermen