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, Mr Simon McCarthy 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.

Watermen's Hall

16GB USB Stick

We have produced a 16GB USB stick featuring the Company Barge – Apprentice Lightermen. These are £12.00 each plus postage and packing- just click on the order form below  USB ORDER FORM (002)  All profits to the Company’s Charity – Royal Benevolent and Educational Fund for Watermen and Lightermen    

A Message from the Master

I am delighted to be elected the 191st Master of the Company and look forward to representing you in the coming months. As a fifth generation Waterman, my personal journey began in 1979, when I was apprenticed by my father, Peter.  Starting my apprenticeship at Cherry Garden Pier, I kept up my commitment to rowing … read more

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

© 2014 The Company of Watermen and Lightermen