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 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.
The Master and Clerk with the Senior Warden of the Rochester Bridge Trust, Russell Cooper at their Benefactors Service on All Soul’s Day at Rochester Cathedral.
At the October Court meeting the following new Craft Owning Freemen were admitted -Jonathan Averns, Derek Whyatt, Christopher Gooderidge, Susan Perry-Whitehead, Anthony Bull and Philip Otto. Craft Owning Freeman Derek Mann was appointed as a full Court Assistant. Craft Owning Freeman Darren Knight was appointed as an Honorary Court Assistant. Lt Peter Reed OBE was admitted … read more